Thursday, March 31, 2005

Dad's Take on the Terri Schiavo Case

My Dad sent this. Hope he doesn't mind if I blog it!
Terri Schiavo had a severe case of Bulemia. Maybe everyone knows this, but I sure didn't. She had been an overweight teenager (5'-3", 200lbs) and lost a lot of weight by becoming Bulemic and living on liquids much of the time. Not long before her 'collapse' 15 years ago, she went to a doctor for ammenorrhea. Her collapse followed a binge-purge episode and her heart apparently stopped from hypokalemia (low serum potassium from vomiting and or laxative abuse). In the malpractice suit, there was a $2 million malpractice payoff because the doctor didn't diagnose her eating disorder - which she didn't mention. Her husband didn't know about it either. She has been in a vegetative state for 15 years with, in the most bizarre of ironies, a feeding tube. Her CAT Scan, shown above, shows massive brain damage, with cortical thinning between the extremely dilated ventricles and the skull.

What has all this been about? A parent's wish to 'feed' her?

What an incredibly sad story, but it's not the sad story that's been all over our news...

I'm not sure why I'm forwarding this. It was just something of a shock that this has not been a part of the news stories, and it should have been. Karen Carpenter's death in the late 70's in similar circumstances jolted a lot of people who needed help into treatment.

Link 1, Link 2, Link 3

Flickr, Part Deux

I've got the full scoop on Flickr Color Pickrs now. The man who creates them is Jim Bumgardner, and, as he says in his Flickr profile, he does his greatest work on Flickr through software, not through photography. He is extremely talented as a software and visual designer , and he makes macro sense out of the micro (individual pictures) on Flickr. It's really amazing stuff! Be sure to check out the poster he's designing for the Squared Circle group.

The reason I thought you could tweak the Colr Pickr was because every large Flickr group photo pool I tried was one for which he'd already tweaked his own software using his big brain! Yesterday, I befriended him on Flickr and asked him to tell me all of the Colr Pickrs he's created so far. Here they are:

The Urban Decay Colr Pickr is probably my favorite. Urban Decay is part of my daily life these days, and there is actually a certain beauty about it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Fun with Flickr

I've been having a great time with Flickr lately, and there are so many cool toys that people have created using the Flickr database:
Last, but hardly least, if you haven't seen the Flickr Transparent Screens photoset, you must! It's really amazing. Here's a ticklr (get it? ticklr?!). Buh-dump!

Transparent Screen - alexy
Originally uploaded by w00kie.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Memorials and Obituaries for Kipchoge

I knew he was a wonderful guy, but there's so much about him I didn't know. I'm ever gladder I knew him at all and ever sadder that he is gone now.

Free iPod On the Slow Boat to ME!!

OMFG It actually worked! All it took was three months of harrassment of my near and dear, anal checking and follow-up, and way more patience than I have! And even though it's in shipping status, it's STILL supposed to take 4-6 weeks to ship. is not for the feint of heart!

Monday, March 28, 2005

DiAnne Price and Her Boyfriends

If you know me in Memphis, you know I never go out. Being on internship means lots of work + job hunt + dissertation + no money at all. Plus, I'm only here for the year. I'm a terrible friend because I'm never available to have any fun... not often anyway. So I don't make much effort in making friends because I know I can't follow through. If you know me from somewhere else, you'll know how strange this all sounds, but sadly, it's true. But then there are weekends like the one that just passed, when I honestly, didn't have much to do workwise, Aaron was out of town, and I just didn't have a lot of plans.

That said, I managed to have a lovely Sunday, despite the rain. I had noticed on Friday that Dianne Price and Her Boyfriends were playing at Huey's. One of my mother's college friends in town had raved about her/them, so I called her up, and we went. It was a perfect rainy day thing to do. Dianne Price is one of those people who plays piano like it's an extension of herself. It's effortless. Her voice is husky and soulful and wonderful, and she has amazing energy. "Her boyfriends" weren't too shabby either. What a treat. Please take a lo-fi or hi-fi listen.

DiAnne Price and Her Boyfriends at Huey's on Easter


Thanks, Mom, for pointing out that I now have my first hit in Africa! Must be in Capetown. I have a friend from high school who was living there. I wonder if it is he. Anyway, I'll never stop being amazed and the extent of the blogging world.

If the blogging world weren't so very large, I never would have gotten to read this.

An Activist and a Moblogger on Poplar

I recently got a cameraphone, and so I recently created a moblog. The idea is that I can document interesting things I see during the regular course of a day and immediately upload them online.

So today, I'm driving along Poplar Avenue in Memphis, and I spot my first “interesting thing.” Actually, what I first saw was a TV camera filming from one corner of an intersection to the other. My eyes followed the direction in which the lens was pointing to a woman dressed in military fatigues, holding a sign that said, “Join the U.S. Army. Get Raped.” Quite a provocative sign to be holding, wouldn't you say?

After I finished my short errand in the next block, I turned the car around and readied my cameraphone. Sadly, the woman was facing the other direction when I got to the red light, so I couldn't take a picture. I decided to pull into the next entrance on the right and just ask if I could take her picture.

She was very pleasant and basically explained that she was a one-woman political action protesting the silencing of women in the military who are raped. She explained that the uniform she was wearing was her own and that she had been raped in the military, then suffered many negative consequences for trying to report the rape. She had been fighting the fight with the support of her husband. She said she was a performer and that she wanted to get herself heard. I wonder what got her inspired to go out there today.

I took two pictures, then got into my car to try and send them to my moblog. They weren't there! The cameraphone is new, and I haven't quite gotten the hang of using it. I got back out of the car to ask to take another picture, just as the woman and a man who she said was her bodyguard (but maybe was her husband, too – I'm not sure) were walking away. She graciously let me try again. (I learned I hadn't hit “Save” after taking each picture. It's hard to see that screen when it's bright out!) I got two successful pictures. The man with her handed me a postcard and a CD:

a.g. Blue, NEW ALBUM APRIL 2005

N-cluding the smash club hitmaps”50/50” featuring NOID

Listen live @!

a.g. blue

Not really what I was expecting! I listened to the CD. It's good, really political, in the hip-hop/dance/spoken word area. I'm not sure if she's doing the mixes or just the vocals, but I'm not surprised she's coming out with an album in April. You have to check out her web site. It's got a great main page graphic, and within the site are several downloadable MP3s and WMA files. She seems a fascinating combination of soldier/activist/performance artist/whistleblower. You have to see it for yourself. I can't believe the woman I saw on Poplar is the woman on this site, but that's her!

It seems that every day is more interesting than the next.

Tribe Share

This is kind of cool. It all began in a private tribe in which we were discussing an article about why Dungeons & Dragons is good for kids (actually, I'm sharing a real article, one that is way better than the silly original one posted. Revisionist history is FUN!). I never played it myself, but many of my close male friends did as kids. Anyway, a little later in the thread, a Tribe friend shared this:
wow, my son is a super geek; not only is he 10 and still playing pokemon, but he is the #1 ranked player in the u.s. in his age group! but i don't care, i'm proud!!!
To which another Tribe friend responded:
Does that make you a "Pokemom"?

Sunday, March 27, 2005

For the Whiners

The extra pictures of the drive down Madison were for the whiners over at Dark Bilious Vapors. You guys want the other 50 or so not very good pictures I took while mindlessly clicking the button on my camera?!

The picture of Andertons on Flickr actually wasn't mine. I ended up with a corner of the roof. Why? The shutter was just kind of going at its own pace and honestly, I wasn't really paying all that much attention! It's about quantity, not quality!

Huey's. Kinda.

Happy now?

Bunch of whiners!

Chihuahua Adopts Chick

Originally uploaded by skryche.

OK, this is just bizarre! (I'm uploading a couple of amusing Easter pictures from Flickr today, just fer kicks.)

Marshamallow Peep Jesus

Originally uploaded by adampsyche.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from the Hip Hop Bunnies! My petsitter sent this to me this morning!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Drive Down Madison, Memphis, TN

Those of you in Memphis might enjoy the set of pictures I just uploaded to Flickr. They were taken on a grey day driving down Madison from the medical center to Cooper.

I'm using Flickr for general interest photographs, MoblogUK for ones taken on my cell phone when I'm out and about, and the blog for the rest. If you know me, you know I'm a serious shutterbug. I don't know all that much about cameras, but I take a LOT of pictures. I'm all about quantity over quality. It's about documentation, not impressing anyone. Still, with quantity, I often find amongst my ranks several pictures of quality.

The sidebar tells you how to find all these pictures, so take a look some time. ---->

It's Official! I Am an Adult!

Lookit what my daddy sent me today!

The Cereal Wars

Glad to see that the kids at Harvard have their priorities straight!

An excerpt from the story:

''I was shocked to see they had done this to our cereals," said Harvard senior Cameron Moccari, who last week launched the group ''Harvard Students for the Reimplementation of Brand-Named Cereals" on, a popular website that allows students to meet new friends or form study groups. ''They replaced all of the familiar cereals with ones that have weird names and don't taste good."
For Harvard sophomore Allison Kessler, it's annoying to pay more than $4,000 for a meal plan that scrimps on her favorite breakfast foods. Particularly since, Kessler, like many college students, eats cereal several times a day.

''I used to eat Lucky Charms for lunch and dinner," she said. ''The fake stuff gets real soggy, and I've just stopped eating cereal. This is not fair."

Read the whole article so you don't miss the bit about the "Harvard Coalition For the Return of Lobster Night." Sheesh! Poor kids.

Friday Night: Adam and I Don't Get Out Much!

Morningside Badasses!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Sidebar Changes

I've switched a lot of things around on the sidebar. It still isn't the most organized thing ever, but it's me, Abby... what do you expect?!

The most important additions are the links to my Flickr pictures, my new moblog (my new cell phone has a camera), and my links. Take a look if you'd like.

If you have any suggestions for making the sidebar more organized, let me know. Organization isn't my strong suit!
Update: This comment problem is driving me NUTS! I can't figure out if it's a Blogger problem or a Haloscan problem, but I tell you what, IT'S PISSING ME OFF! If the comments below this post STILL aren't working, try this link.

Comment Problems

I'm having an awfully difficult time with the comments on my blog. I've been trying to figure out exactly where the problem lies (with Blogger or with Haloscan), but so far, no luck. When people are commenting in other threads, I'm trying to manually move their comments to the correct thread. It mostly works, but the times are never right. I'm going to try and test every post from now on to make sure it's accepting comments before I leave it on the blog. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Ramblings About Chili Fingers

By now, I'm sure you have all heard about the woman who found the finger in her Wendy's chili.

This image was stolen from Adrienne at Nosheteria. Thanks, Adrienne. It really adds to the overall impact of my post.

Well, I've been thinking a lot about this. The finger was apparently fresh, and there were two parts of the finger in the same bowl of chili. That would indicate there wasn't a whole body that was cut up and dropped into the chili, because if that were the case, what are the chances of having two parts of the same finger in a bowl of chili? The article says the chili is made on site. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing they get ground beef, not whole beef parts that they grind up in the Wendy's store. That means that the finger must have landed in the beef AFTER it was ground. If it had landed in there before, then you wouldn't have such an obvious finger, manicured, in complete identifiable chunks. You'd have ground finger!

All of the people working at the Wendy's had all their fingers, so that isn't the source of the finger. If the finger was ripped from a person who is still alive, working at a meat plant, don't you think the meat plant shift manager might have thought: Better check the meat she was working on!

Another theory I threw out was that of the aggressive cow who attacked a woman, ripping her finger off whole, biting it in half, then swallowing it down. Then the next day, the cow is made into meat. But the ground beef thing makes that unlikely, too.

If there's a woman out there with a missing finger (and I'm thinking that's the case, or you wouldn't get this unlikely scenario where there are two parts of one finger in the same bowl of chili), I think she better step forward!

Who is this woman? Surely she's seen the story! And who put her finger in the ground beef? Is she tied up somewhere?

I'm a rambling sleuth, but I really want to know what happened. It's just such a strange story!

Sick Sad Museum Exhibit

So last weekend, Aaron and I decided to go to the Pink Palace Museum. I'd been years ago. It isn't great, but that's not the point of the story here. The point is that there is this completely disgusting exhibit at the museum right now. Maybe I'm overreacting, but blech.

OK, the exhibit is called CSI: Crime Scene Insects. You go in, and there are several little areas explaining different parts of why insects have a lot to do with forensics. At each station, there is a dead body painted on the floor with various demonstrations of how bugs are an important part of the decomposition process. The first one has a few fake morgue drawers with fake dead bodies in them. On the wall is an explanation of the various stages of decomposition: freshly dead, bloated, maggot-infested, etc. The names are prettier than that, but that's basically the idea.

One of the floor pictures

Maybe it's because of all the pictures I saw after the Tsunami. Maybe it's because they found a dead body across the street in the park. Maybe it's because this is Memphis, and there is a lot of crime. But I was really offended, and I'm not really one to get offended. Little kids were looking at these exhibits, standing on top of the parts of the floor with the photographs of the dead bodies on them. There was a woman there with a very young little girl (maybe 3) in her arms. The little girl was looking past her mother's shoulder at us, and I kept thinking, “Why are you here, little girl? Why is this fun? Why is it cool?”

Needless to say, we left pretty quickly. Is the plan to appeal to what kids know? Sure, it's interesting, but come on. So are many other things that are far less gruesome that teaching Memphis children how bugs help bodies to decompose. Who decided this was a good idea?!

If it were the same exhibit, but a little more advanced and for adults, I think it would be a pretty decent idea. But in Memphis, and with kids this young? I don't know. Kids don't even really have a concept of what death is yet... not like an adult. It just didn't sit well with me at all.

Some links:
I recommend not going!

Bagels: Post Update and Further Thoughts

Please note that "the bagel post" has been reposted and is now accepting comments. I can't believe the unrest waiting for me after returning from work. The people wanna talk about the bagels!!!

Oh, and while I'm here, please let me mention that yes, everything and cinammon raisin don't really belong on the list... not really... but everything bagels are too good to exclude, and they do contain all the "right" thing, just in higher density and greater combination. Let us also add egg bagels to the list.

To review, the correct bagel types are plain, sesame, poppy, salt, onion, garlic, and egg. Other less traditional yet acceptable types are everything, pumpernickel, and rye.

Cinammon raisin was the first flavored bagel I recall being added to the bagel lineup. It's an option, but it will not impress anyone. It's the bagel you get for your kid who thinks bagels seem "weird." Kind of like the drumstick of the chicken.

And my opinion stands on wheat, blueberry, chocolate chip, cranberry orange, spinach, asiago, and all the rest of that bullshit. I'm also standing firm on my cream cheese position: plain or lox. No strawberry, no walnut, no "veggie," or any of the rest of it. In the past, I've stopped into the dark side a few times with roasted red pepper, artichoke, and olive, but I knew at the time that it was, in fact, an incorrect choice. It was palatable, but not the real deal.


I'd heard They Might Be Giants were doing kids' songs, but I hadn't listened to any of them yet. Just came across this video on Boing Boing done by a high schooler. It's just excellent! Take a look and a listen.

The Correct Bagel (again, with feeling)

Growing up, I would often end up in a restaurant with my dad, and he would tell me, "This is the right thing to order here." My most specific memory was on Oxford Road in Atlanta, right next to the main entrance to Emory. There was a sandwich shop there. I think it was in that building with the silly top; the one that's been a Dominoes and a million other things. I don't know if it's still there or not.

Anyway, he said that I should order turkey and cole slaw with Russian Dressing on Rye. He said that was the right thing to order, and the people working there would know I knew something about sandwiches. I remember feeling like a little bit of a badass ordering that. I was probably in the range of 12 years old.

So today, on AskMetafilter (a site I adore), someone is asking about good bagels in London. And someone posted this comment:
Correct bagel types:
  • Plain
  • Sesame
  • Poppy
  • Salt
  • Onion
  • Everything
  • Cinnamon Raisin
Incorrect bagel types:
  • Sun-dried tomato
  • Blueberry
  • Jalapeno
  • Pesto
  • Anything not listed under "Correct bagel types"
Another person pointed out the obvious exclusion of Garlic, another important bagel flavor.

Does it make me a snob that I am *so* with this person on this point?

I grew up eating bagels at The Royal Bagel at Ansley Mall in Atlanta, GA. It was owned by a Jewish woman from New York named Rose and her husband. It was there my whole life, and I have never had a bagel that good since.

Over time, The Royal Bagel became a fascinating cultural institution. It was where people in my neighborhood went on weekend mornings. It was a Jewish place, and because of its location, it was a gay place (for gay men, not gay women... that was Decatur).

I remember that over the years, the employees changed from being my friend Molly's two older sisters (kind of a family atmosphere) to a really hopping gay Mecca, with a full expansion into the next shop's space. The guys working there at the end of its royal reign wore t-shirts that said something like "Bagels fit for a Queen." Excellent! And Rose was always still around. She probably didn't know me, but I knew her.

The bagel flavors there were the ones mentioned in the correct list (including garlic), and the cream cheese flavors were plain and lox. It was perfect. There was no way to perfect that combination.

The Royal Bagel isn't there anymore. Instead, there's an Einstein's up the hill. It's a sad replacement, and yet, when in Atlanta, that's kind of where we end up... trying to reclaim those wonderful bagel moments of the past.

By the way, I'm not the only one who remembers the Royal Bagel. And here's another description from Creative Loafing, the local Atlanta rag:
Royal Bagel -- Now that bagel franchises blanket the city, it's tough to imagine loyal customers driving halfway across town to line up at this small Ansley Mall bakery that was among the first to offer the breakfast staple when it opened in 1974. Hung on until 1997.
The take-home message? Shop locally, and order the correct bagels... PLEASE! No wheat, no blueberry chocolate chip, no walnut spread, no bagel pizzas, and no bagel sandwiches with lettuce and turkey and other wrong things. Please, people. It's not snobbery. It's being cultured!!
Update: I'm reposting this hoping that the comments will miraculously work. If you wanted to post before but couldn't, try again.

You Don't Like My Blog?!

Whuh?! You don't like my blog? FINE!!!! Why don't you just blow it up? Unleash the Martians? See if I care. OOOOOh! DAAAAAAAD!!!!! Watch out! You just spilled coffee everywhere!!! HELP! What did I ever do to you people? OMG. Now this is nuts... dinosaurs? This is just getting silly. OK, OK. I'll try to provide more interesting content. I'm sorry! I'M SORRY!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Bright Shiny Objects Cause People to Stop Getting Stuff Done

OK, the Getting Things Done bandwagon is completely out of control. I must admit that I'm VERY drawn to it, as a person who is ADD and has relied on external organizers to get through this world, but things like this and the freakin' Hipster PDA are just out of control! I mean look at this Hipster PDA stuff:

* The Original Hipster PDA Idea
* Hipster PDA Porn
* A STRONG presence on
* Then templates to make your own

How is this any different than just using a regular pda or a regular calendar?

Now check out the links for Getting Things Done.


And I must admit, I'm reading the GTD book to see what the guy has to say... after completely harrassing Aaron when he first showed interest in it.

It's another bright shiny object (that's my first original Wikipedia addition! Another self-referential BSO?) that is keeping many people from ever actually doing stuff! All in the name of doing more stuff! In the end, it's just more fun to obsess about BSOs than it is to actually do one's stuff!

Life is hard sometimes. Now if I could just get off the computer and shower so I can go do work instead of reading about (then writing about) getting things done (or not)!

Got to get my stuff done

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

More Boston Photos

Quincy Market, Boston

Me and Mich

Tornado Warning

I hate tornado warnings (see the red areas). I mean, what am I supposed to do? Take the cats into my handy dandy storm cellar? No wait. I live on the 2nd floor. I hear sirens and airplanes still flying overhead, airplanes that sorta sound like tornados. I'd rather they just turn the sirens off, since there isn't anything I can do about it anyway.
Tornado Warning

523 PM CST TUE MAR 22 2005





Monday, March 21, 2005

Rest in Peace

Amongst all of my good news, some very sad news also came my way this week. Two wonderful men I know died. Both are about the same age as me.

Damon was a friend of mine in college and a composer. I spent many hours in practice rooms with him at Oberlin talking about how to write for the voice. He wrote for my voice in particular, and he used my advice to do it. It was a collaborative relationship, but we were also friends. My friend Annie and I just really dug him, and we spent a lot of time hanging out with him outside of our musical creating. He had some dark times, but the last time I saw him, he was doing really well, working with a relative of Bartok on some of Bartok's pieces, deeply in love, happy as I'd ever seem him, and living in Brooklyn. Annie was the one who e-mailed me to tell me had died. I don't have many details at all, except that he died about a year ago. I hate that he isn't in this world anymore, that I won't see him, that he won't be composing any more music. I'm very glad I saw him at that reunion.

With Damon at our last Oberlin reunion in 2001.

Kipchoge is someone I knew less well, but he made such an impression. He was my age, but he was a professor. I think the first time I met him was at a campus-wide gathering of some sort where we were talking about issues of social justice in the classroom. It was in the Indiana Memorial Union. My friend Rebecca and I went, and he sat at our table. I remember my table better than I remember the title or point of the gathering. Kipchoge was smart yet down to earth, and from our time at that table that day, I could tell he was a good soul, and he was going to do good things in the world. Later, I found out that he did spoken word, an art form which is one of my favorites. I invited him to the spoken word tribe on He's just someone who was always around. I taught on the third floor of the School of Education, and so did he, so he was just around a lot, and we always chatted... because we just got along really well. My favorite memory of him was the time we were both grabbing really late lunches at Dagwood's Sandwich Shop on 10th Street near the School of Education. We were both ordering food to go, but we decided to sit down together to eat. I learned he had a son who lived somewhere else. I learned that he had actually gone to high school in Mildenhall in England because he was an Air Force brat. My father was actually stationed at RAF Lakenheath, too, so I'd been there. I never expected him to have been there. What a small world. What I know about his death is that on Thursday, he checked himself into the hospital, then he was released that night. He died on Friday of natural (yet unexpected) causes.

Kipchoge at a department Christmas party at the end of 2003.

Anyway, these were both wonderful men, and it was too early. Way too early. But I'm glad they lived, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to know them both.

London: The Best Place to Celebrate Memphis Music?

Don't you think it would be way cooler if they had this in, say, Memphis?!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Beautiful Boston

See? I told you we went to Boston! Here's Aaron (and a little bit of Michelle) in the North End.


There is clearly something wrong with Haloscan. I haven't changed any of my scripts to make the commenting not work. I'll look into the problem and see if I can't get it fixed. If you need to contact me or want to make a comment, try posting first, and if that doesn't work, try just sending me an e-mail to

Which iPod Case?

OK, the iPod offers are all complete! Now I'm waiting my 5 business days for approval. Aaron is buying me a case, and I'm trying to decide which of these two I like better:

(also see here and here)

(also see here and here)

Whaddaya think?

Friday, March 18, 2005

More Memphis Stats

We have the second highest unemployment rate in the country, too.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Job

Hi out there in TV Land. I've been really busy here, and I kind of forgot that I should probably get back on here and say a little about this job. It's a job at a place that does these super duper Cadillac evaluations of kids. I will be working with a pediatric neuropsychologist who specializes in kids with learning disability, attention, and behavior problems. For the first long while, I'll really be shadowing this woman, "attached at the hip." She'll be in the room for every evaluation I do. They train their postdocs very closely with the aim of grooming people to stay. They are very focused on doing evals and making recommendations that are understandable to parents and that are really carried through, so they tend to stay in contact with families over years instead of the normal test, write a report, then send them away dealy. Instead, they consult with the people who will be carrying out the interventions directly. The salary isn't great, but it goes up a lot if they decide they want me for a second year, and it goes up a WHOLE lot the year after that.

It's worlds away from Memphis. This year, I've learned that psychological assessment and intervention are really a bit up Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. A lot of the kids I work with in Memphis need much more basic stuff like food, shelter, and safety. They need resources and a good case manager. Today, I was saying to Aaron that if a family that makes $500,000 a year has a kid with severe LD, then that's just as big of a problem for the family as it would be if the family made 1/10th that amount. I can't tell how it will be, but it's really a dreamy opportunity for a first job. I'm pretty excited about it.

The coolest part was that this woman (to whose hip I will be attached!) was just a great match with me. She's really enthusiastic and full of integrity and smart and funny and down to earth. I mean, that's cool as hell. She's also really direct. She said, "I got a lot of applications for this position, and I've done a lot of interviews. You're the only one so far I'd want attached to my hip! I think I'm just going to offer it to you right now."

I mean, I must be getting some serious karmic payback or something. Seriously.

Today was exhausting. We spent all of our time driving all over the place trying to see where we want to live. It's a hard thing to do. Seems like it's so loaded! Like such a big decision. Hope we're choosing well.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Who went to her first interview for a real job today? And who was hired on the spot? ME! That's who! w00t!

Friday, March 11, 2005

Bad Things Afoot in Downtown Atlanta

Some serious shit went down in my home town today, much worse than what happened here last night:

Man Flees After Killing Judge and 2 Others at Atlanta Court

A judge and a court reporter were shot and killed at the Fulton County Courthouse this morning when a defendant who was on trial for rape grabbed a sheriff's deputy's gun, opened fire and then kept shooting as he fled into downtown Atlanta, wounding others and killing at least one deputy, the police said.

Several city streets around the courthouse have been blocked off as law enforcement officials crawl through downtown in search of the man, identified as Brian Nichols, 33, said Lt. Clarence Huber, a spokesman for the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.

Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor confirmed that Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and his court reporter were killed, The Associated Press said. He gave no other details in announcing the deaths in the state Senate.

The court reporter was identified as Julie Brandau, 43.

Several news agencies reported that Mr. Nichols may be traveling in a Green Honda, and that he may have hijacked other cars in his escape. A reporter for The Atlanta Journal- Constitution, Don O'Briant, was driving the green Honda police believe Mr. Nichols is driving.

Mr. O'Briant wrote in the newspaper's Web site edition that he was parking his car to report to work when a young man who was not wearing a shirt got into his car and pointed a gun at him.

"He said "Give me your keys or I'll kill you!"" Mr. O'Briant wrote. "I gave him the keys, and then he said "Get in the trunk."

"I said no. I thought maybe I was going to be killed, but I wasn't going to get in the trunk," he wrote. "I turned to run, and that's when he hit me in the head with his gun. I fell down, and I got up and ran into a garbage bin. I got up again and ran. I scrambled into the street, waiting for the shots to come, but they didn't come. He must have been out of bullets, because he didn't shoot me."

Several lawyers who work in the courthouse said that Mr. Nichols had been charged with raping his fiancée. A trial for him ended last week in a hung jury, and a new trial was beginning this week.

Mr. Nichols was wearing civilian clothes during the proceedings in Judge Barnes' eighth-floor courtroom, lawyers said, and he would not have been handcuffed.

"The defendant took the deputy's gun and held the courtroom hostage and shot the judge," Renee Rockwell, a defense attorney, told CNN.

Lillie Robbins, a civil rights investigator who was serving on another jury, said she had just gone through a security entrance to get into the courthouse and was standing in the lobby this morning when sheriff's deputies came through.

"All these sheriff's deputy's broke out of the elevator on a dead run," she said. "They were yelling 'Get out, get out of the building!' "

She said that when she went outside she saw a sheriff's deputy lying on the ground who had apparently been shot during the chase.

A sense of dread seemed to grip that part of downtown Atlanta. Police had locked down a parking garage near the courthouse and were not letting people in or out. On freeway overpass signs, the authorities had posted messages urging the public's help in the search for the suspect. One sign said: "Police suspect/ Green Honda Accord/ Call police." Another sign said: "Police activity at Fulton County Courthouse."

Several people said Judge Barnes had been well respected. Matthew Welch, a defense attorney, said about him: "He was very fair."

"I had a client who really tested the judge and he didn't take it out on him," he said, adding that his client had stepped out of the courtroom during a plea discussion, and had fled.

Mr. Welch said the judge "didn't hold it against him. He offered him the original recommendation."

But he said, "he did give him a strong talking to, of course."

In a July 2002 article in the food section of The Journal-Constitution about Ms. Brandau and how much she loved to cook, Judge Barnes wrote: "Every day of every trial, she creates something special for our jurors."

"Everything she makes is delicious," he went on to say in the article, titled "In the Kitchen With...Julie Brandau."

"We have received hundreds of comments from jurors who, although they might not have enjoyed downtown parking, nevertheless loved the food. And it's no wonder, since her bright and cheerful personality overflows into the ingredients."



Now I have 4 of my iPod offers! Yay! Thank you, Andrej in Japan!! And now, if mom's goes through, I'm THERE! w00t!!!

Y'all wish me luck. I'm off to the tundra for a job interview plus a coupla informational interviews. Go me! :D

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Sweet Jeebus, This is Funny!

OK, got this from Laura at Cucina Testa Rossa. OK, make sure the volume is on, now when you get to the link, click on the piggy: Piggy Link.

So I'm bloglining while Aaron is on the phone to tech support to Verizon, and I do the piggy thing, and I'm HOWLING! The tech support lady actually asked what I was laughing about, so I gave HER the URL, too.

Oh, and be sure to check out Len's Cutiegear purchase. See, these products actually exist, and they are COOL!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I love the Internet

Because where else besides the Internet can you get so many people giving you so much information so immediately? In two hours, I had a dozen people chime in about how to dress for a job interview in a cold climate! I love that!

Another Bright Shiny Object

Just what I need: another bright shiny object! DAMN YOU, bright and shiny objects!

So any of the rest of you using I love it. If you're still not getting it, check out this beginner's guide to using If you're more advanced, check this out.

My only frustration is that it's this incredibly powerful tool, and people aren't using it to its fullest extent. Specifically, people aren't tagging the links thoughtfully enough for my liking. Many people will use very vague tags, or only one tag. If you give something many tags, then the chances are much greater that it will actually be useful to someone else. I'm a big fan of giving away knowledge, and with, it's so easey to do that. I think a lot of people don't really get its power. I'm just saying.

Still, I wonder how long until I get over how cool it is...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Are you all using It's so cool! I'm just throwing all my bookmarks in there. I can access them from anywhere, they are organized by tags, and I get to see other people's bookmarks, too. It's seriously fun! Why did it take me so long to figure out what the hell this did? I've been seeing it around for ages!
Update: The non-Abby, plain link was problematic, and I've repaired it. Sorry 'bout that.

Monday, March 07, 2005

FAnnetastic Pez!

My friend Anne is selling off her Pez collection on eBay. Go bid, y'all!

Muppet Pez!

Man, I'm sure glad I don't live in Memphis! Oh wait!

Some info I've learned:
  • Memphis has the highest infant mortality rate among the nation's 60 largest cities, with babies dying at twice the rate of the national average. Link.
  • Memphis was ranked second among the 100 "most challenging places to live for asthmatics" in a national study. Link 1. Link 2.
  • According to Men's Fitness Magazine, Memphis is the 4th fattest city in the nation, and we got an F rating in the categories of Exercise/Sports Participation, TV Watching, Overweight/Sedentary, and Air Quality. Link 1. Link 2.
  • The percentage of school-aged children is really high. Link.
  • Sperling's Best Places says Memphis is the second worst large city for crime (after Tuscon, Arizona... apparently Jo Jo left there for some California grass). Link.
  • Out of 200 cities rated, Self Magazine ranked Memphis 200th for Healthiest Places for Women. Link.
  • Not to mention the gang problems in the schools, the fact that we have an extremely high percentage of children in our population that we can't afford, and the "inevitable" earthquake.
I don't usually use my blog to seek out opinions, but tell me this... What happened here? What's your theory? Is it the legacy of MLK being shot here? Is it related to its location on the Mississippi? Did freed slaves get stuck here? I mean really... I'd love to know what you think, because things here are statistically quite bad - way worse than average.

Only One Away!

I almost have an iPod. Mom's hasn't gone through yet, but I know for sure she's done it correctly, and we're just waiting for time to pass for hers to work. Then there are three offers that have been credited and are pretty green. There are four others that could still work but again... time. There are two I know won't go through from talking to the people who did them. I only need one more to work, and I have my iPod! Thanks for putting up with all this harrassment! I can be awfully persistent when I wanna be!

If you still want to help, just click on the iPod in the right sidebar.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Awesome Mashup

I've been downloading mashups recently. That's when people mix together several songs. Many of these suck, but here's a Boing Boing review of a really great one. Click on the link at the bottom of the review.


I've been reading Morgan Spurlock's blog for a while now. He was the guy who ate every meal at McDonald's for 30 days to create "Supersize Me." He didn't take home the Oscar, but he did make an important movie that got nominated. Today on his blog, he documents his Oscar experience. It's a facinating read: a normal person at an extraordinary event.

Oh, and incidentally, Morgan and Alex, the lovely vegan chef who supported him through this whole wacky experiment, are engaged. Congratulations!

Tiny Lady. HUGE talent.

This is Kristin Hersh playing for me (and a few other people) in Bloomington, Indiana on my birthday a year and a half ago. OK, the gig just happened to be on my birthday, but it was a great present!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

50 Foot Wave of Mutilation

If you know me at all, you know I'm a long-time, HUGE Throwing Muses fan. Kristin Hersh is the lead singer of that band. Her half-sister, Tonya Donnelly, was in the original lineup and went on to be in Belly and in the Breeders for a bit. For years, Kristin has done both Throwing Muses albums and solo albums, and recently, she created a new band called 50 Foot Wave, and their EP is DIVINE! The last time I saw her live was a solo gig in Bloomington, Indiana, and it wasn't her best (although Andrew Bird performed that night, and he was wonderful. There was another forgettable guy, but I always forget his name. He was forgettable.) Before that gig, I last saw TM in London. I went alone and had a completely wonderful time. There are always friends to be made amongst rabid fans of a particular artist if you walk way up front and keep your ears open.

Anyway, 50 Foot Wave will be releasing their first full-length album within days, and I just can't wait! To get you all excited about it, I'm sharing with you a very enjoyable article. It's an interview with TM's bass player, whose day job is in a bike shop. It's called INTERVIEW WITH MY CO-WORKER, THE ROCK STAR.

To get yourself REALLY pumped up for the new release, go watch this video for "Clara Bow."


There's a rumor she's going to do a cover of the Pixie's "Wave of Mutilation" on another upcoming compilation album. Shhh! Keep it on the DL.

File Hard!

We're riding hard, and we love filing!


While I was posting that pointless list of states, I read EJ's blog. A very important Memphis recording studio, Easley-McCain, burned today. Phooey. That sucks. Even buildings get the blues in Memphis. :(


This exercise has very little point, and yet I did it. I'm in post-work zombie state.

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

Update. After the discussion in the comments section, I made the important decision to bold Arkansas! And I considered unbolding Texas, but then, I did take a train across the entire state. I got off at the stops to smoke (this was a long time ago), and it was 114 degrees outside! So I did take a step off the train, but not for long!
Another Update: As Brittany pointed out, I have been to Texas... on an internship interview, and I hated it! The site was great, but I just didn't like Houston. I guess I blocked it out! Texas stays bold!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

How I Think

Abby is thinking. Maggie is napping.

This is me, now, thinking and surfing. It's kind of my spot. If I'm wearing away at any furniture in my apartment, it's this chair I'm in now. I just did a whole sink full of dishes (and there is another full sinkload to go), and I got to thinking about thinking....

Today was my seminar with the psychiatry residents at the outpatient clinic I'm working in this rotation period. We did some reading about the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. I realized that, as always, I have a lot to say in seminars (or any type of class, really). My brain is chock full of content about this and that: a little here, a smidgen there. "Oh hey, that reminds me of Victor Frankl's search for meaning in the concentration camp... But isn't that the same as such-and-such's theory of this-and-that?" The residents frequently comment on my wide knowledge of the topics we discuss, but I'm not even very educated in these areas, and I'm wondering where they get this idea!

There have honestly been times during school that I have made the active choice NOT to do the reading because I usually have too much to say already without even having the reading material under my belt! Some professors don't like the chatty student, and sometimes it's just easier to keep quiet if I only have tangential or pre-existing thoughts available. Once I hear something, if I've been paying attention, I know it. And I take in a lot, as is evidence by my wide breadth of knowledge about little things all over the web. I have breadth coming out my ears, but depth? Now that's another matter. Of course I have depth in certain areas, but by nature, I'm a breadth woman. I can take in massive amounts of limited information on a wide variety of topics. This means I am very resourceful; very good at linking people with information they might be interested in.

OK, so I've said all that, but here's the flip side. So I'm doing dishes, and I'm getting really worried about this job interview I have in a couple of weeks. I know I'm really perfect for the position, and if they hire me, they will be happy with me being there, but I really doubt my ability to impress them in the interview. Why? I always have this fear that someone will say, "Tell me everything you've learned about Topic X." I completely suck at that kind of recall? If I am not cued, I'm sunk. It's like there is something terribly wrong with my memory. I frequently forget what I'm saying, or basic things... For example, even though I've written my dissertation, I'm really afraid that at my defense, someone will ask something basic like, "What is validity?" and I will just freeze. While I'm great at using these ideas in context, if you take away the context, I'm lost at sea. Seriously.

I've done very well in school. I learn what I need to know. I'm a good teacher, too. I'm good at responding to people. At picking up on what people do and don't know, and filling in the holes. I'm good at leading discussion. Lecturing? I need an outline. Put me in front of a group of people and tell me to talk about a subject I know well, and without a pre-sketched outline, there is tumbleweed in my head.

I know this all may sound a bit strange. A mix of extreme confidence and extreme insecurity, but it's kind of neither. The truth is I have extreme strengths and extreme weaknesses. I don't feel too bad or good about either. They just ARE. They are what I have. I just hope the format of the interview plays to my strengths. I could really use the security of knowing I have a job to go to when internship is over.

Cabbage Fever

Surfing around just now, and I came across one of the funniest things I've ever read. I'm just going to put the whole article right here, so even those of you who are too lazy to click over have the opportunity to read it. Hope you like it as much as I do:

Cabbage Fever

My son doesn't like vegetables. Except for that one he had an affair with.

I had Tivo'd an episode of "Good Eats." This one happened to be about cabbage and my three-year-old saw it. For whatever reason he liked it, and asked to see it a few times that week.

While I was at the supermarket, I decided to surprise him and bring home an actual real-life cabbage. When I presented it, he flipped out. The boy carried it off to his room and played with it for almost an hour, rolling it around, pretending to cook it, and who knows what else. I think he felt like he was hanging out with a celebrity since he'd been seeing so much cabbage on TV lately. When I asked if he wanted me to really cut it up and cook it for him, he almost burst into tears.

Later that night I put my son to bed, and just as he was dozing off, he bolted up and screamed "I WANT MY CABBAGE! I WANT MY CABBAGE!" I wasn't going to fight with him. He's three, he'd win. I just wanted him to go to sleep, so I gave him the stupid cabbage.

I swear to God, he lugged that cabbage around for the next week and a half. He took naps with it. He brought it for rides in the car. He even threw a tantrum when we wouldn't let him bring it into Toys 'R Us.

As a concerned father, I was getting a little worried that he and the cabbage were rushing into things. I mean, they had just met. But nine days after it began, the love affair was over. The cabbage was OUT. Tossed aside without so much as a kiss goodbye, or even an explanation. And to be honest, that was fine by me. Don't get me wrong. I'm not a racist or anything. I like cabbage. I just don't want my boy dating one.

Kind of reminds me of the story of my friend's younger brother. He has Autism, and one October, his mother asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween. His answer? "I think I would like to be a triangle." And so that is what he was!

Kids live outside of the box because they don't yet know what the box is!

I'm Obsolete

Of all the weird quizzes I've taken, this one is one of the strangest and least meaningful around (thanks, Adam)... Well, maybe not as bad as this one, but it's close!

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Calliope, Muse of epic poetry
You are 'Latin'. Even among obsolete skills, the tongue of the ancient Romans is a real anachronism. With its profusion of different cases and conjugations, Latin is more than a language; it is a whole different way of thinking about things.

You are very classy, meaning that you value the classics. You value old things, good things which have stood the test of time. You value things which have been proven worthy and valuable, even if no one else these days sees them that way. Your life is touched by a certain 'pietas', or piety; perhaps you are even a Stoic. Nonetheless, you have a certain fascination with the grotesque and the profane. Also, the modern world rejects you like a bad transplant. Your problem is that Latin has been obsolete for a long time.

My Mommy Will Be So Proud!

Well, my score on the Commonly Confused Word Test wasn't perfect, but I still think my grammar-Naziesque mother will be proud. :D

You scored 100% Beginner, 93% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 66% Expert! You have an extremely good understanding of beginner, intermediate, and advanced level commonly confused English words, getting at least 75% of each of these three levels' questions correct. This is an exceptional score. Remember, these are commonly confused English words, which means most people don't use them properly. You got an extremely respectable score.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Miss Me?

Three days, and I feel like I haven't blogged in forever!

On Saturday, I had the most wonderful time. I met my friend Sue and Kurt at the Commisary in Cordova. For me, the pulled pork barbecue sandwich didn't rate compared to the Barbecue Shop on Madison, but I have to say, every other item that came to our table was fabulous: the tamales, the sausage links, the barbecue shrimp, the cole slaw, the deviled egg, the beans... I will definitely be going back. After that, we took a little trip to downtown Collierville, which was quaint and lovely. A town square with a train track as its fourth side. There is an old decked out executive railroad car there that hasn't been remodeled. It was open, and we were able to poke around. It was soooo cool! There were some very pretty finches in one of the antique stores that I loved seeing. So very pretty! My only complaint was that they'd piped in easy-listening music around the whole square! Who thought that was a good idea?!

I got a great surprise on Saturday night. I'd been sorting paper, fixing stuff on my computer, calling him with tech questions, trying to clean a little, you know... the usual... And Aaron said he was going to go take a bath and he'd call when he got out. Then a little while later, he calls and tells me to check my e-mail, but my computer was doing something that meant I couldn't do that. Anyway, he says, "Well, then don't freak out when you hear a key in the back door." The boy actually surprised me! And that ain't easy. Not at all! It was a great surprise.

He still had lots of work to do, so I let him use my computer and I finally cleaned around here a little. It really needed it. It's still a mess, but LESS of a mess. Man, I'm writing this, and it sounds so dull, but I'm tired! Hee. Anyway, back to the fascinating story... What was I saying?

As a gift to Aaron for his supportiveness and help during the final push on my dissertation, I got him the very spiffy olive corduroy blazer you see here. He looks super-stylin' in it. We took it out for its maiden voyage at the new Downtown Blue Plate Cafe. Very tasty as usual.

After our lovely meal, Aaron worked late into the night then woke up the next day sick as hell. Spectacular vomiting and a feverish day ensued. Not the best part of the trip, but it happens. I tried to stroke his back in a loving, supportive way while he was hurling into the bowl, but I started gagging and ran out the door. I'm such a lightweight. I'd make a horrible nurse!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the non-story of my last few days.