Just before choir rehearsal this week, a woman in the choir got mugged right outside the church where we rehearse. I mostly told the story over at Metroblogging already.
I was already inside at another rehearsal while this was going on outside. There’s nothing anyone could have done differently. Well, okay, the piece of shit that mugged her could have not done that. But she couldn’t have done anything. I couldn’t have done anything. I could not have made different choices that would have allowed me to prevent that.
I feel guilty for feeling relieved that it wasn’t me.
I felt terrible that I made Missy park at the far end of the church parking lot anticipating being able to get out more quickly after rehearsal, and than ran to the door because it was cold, leaving her behind to grab her stuff out of the car. What if he had been parked on the street or hiding behind a tree, just across the sidewalk from the less-well-lit end of the parking lot where we parked?
I imagined what I might do if it had been me. Part of me thinks that because I’m black that makes me less of a target. Like a brotha would cut me some slack. Or like I could have talked him out of it. Or like being black makes me somehow come off as Less Safe to Fuck With. I’ve never had anything really bad happen to me. That’s probably really naive. The one time my car was broken into, it was parked in the backyard at my parents’ house.
It wasn’t even me, and I feel violated and somehow responsible.
My good friend Mel of Emtwo Web Studios was having a holiday blog design giveaway and my name came out of the hat! Actually, that looks like a basket.
I’ve kicked around the idea of getting a real professional to spiff up the joint for years. Except I was hung up on wanting to play around with it myself and see what I could learn just by tinkering. I’m completely over that now. I don’t have the time nor the inclination. Also, I’m on a fresh MT install with default templates. My backend is pretty clean and I’m not worried about having screwed something up making it difficult for someone else to poke around in.
So Mel’s gonna make it purty for me. I cannot recommend her enough for all your web design and development needs.
In related news, I’m clearly getting old/becoming a Luddite. Fudging with blog templates scares the heck out of me. I don’t even know anything about having a data plan for my phone (or rather, the new one I’m going to get) and am dreading heading to the Verizon store for help with that.
…consisted entirely of a trip to the liquor store at about 3pm and a trip to Target at about 8:30pm. Both completely uneventful.
Everyone’s been talking about this Beaujolais Nouveau and I was a little stir crazy after sitting around in PJs half the day. Hence the trip to the liquor store. I’m not entirely familiar with my new neighborhood, but I found it easily enough. Seems like everything around here is pretty much in one of three or four places — by the mall (that’s Eden Prairie Center, not the Mall of America) or in one of a few different strips. EPC is the center of gravity here. The city of Eden Prairie is notoriously difficult to navigate, as it is not at all layed out in a simple grid-like fashion. The roads all have really similar names and most of them are circular and turn into another and back into themselves with no notice or warning. So if you get anywhere near the mall, chances are you will keep driving around and around it until you gather up a super burst of energy and shoot off your orbit.
We saw this here plunger at Target (we were not shopping for plungers) and my question to you is what do you think the handle of that plunger looks like? I think that plunger looks like the perfect joint xmas gift for Ang and Jeremy.
Apparently folks were camped out on
Thanksgiving Black Friday Eve and lined up at EPC when it opened at 1am. Ridiculous.
I have managed to reduce my holiday shopping to the bare bones. Oh, okay, and we went on a Kohl’s shopping spree last weekend. So my need to shop is pretty much non-existent.
My need to unpack boxes, however, is pressing. As this is a leisurely weekend, I’ve been leisurely about getting to it, choosing to copy all my CDs to my computer and catch up on podcasts instead. Until this morning when Missy assigned me the task of unpacking just one box. Just one. She’s been out for about 45 minutes and here I sit in front of my laptop. As soon as I finish this, I swear I’m going downstairs. Seriously. Here I go.
Job profile of a flavorist
[Flavorist Marie] Wright’s sense of taste is so good now that she can instantly recognize the person whose work is behind various flavors in products she tastes.
Don’t look away: Why blackface still matters in American culture
[I]t served as a tool for the white mainstream to appropriate and tame various representations of black people – to reduce the race to a populist cartoon that delivered spirituals and other “coon” culture in a way that would have been unacceptable coming straight from the source…. [B]lackface troupes… boiled the miseries of slavery into a recognizable ethnic caricature that assuaged white guilt by turning it into the music of comedy and pathos…. By the time of “The Jazz Singer,” though, minstrelsy had come to stand for something nostalgic, a warm signifier of the ‘old days’ of American stage history before vaudeville and the movies. Blackface wasn’t about ethnicity anymore. It was about the past…. It helps to think of minstrelsy in general and blackface in particular as a mask, one that rightly or wrongly allowed a performer to say things about black culture that wouldn’t be accepted otherwise. At first, only whites were allowed to wear the mask. Then African-American artists began to put it on because it was the only mask available. The difference is that they were able to express certain coded truths through songs and comedy that white entertainers weren’t…. And slowly the voice became authentic.
I used to read voraciously as a kid. I’d stay up until the wee hours with a flashlight and read. And then I got to high school and got busy. And then I got to college and stayed busy. And then I graduated and partied and watched more tv. And then came my ridiculous internet habit. So my attention span’s a little shot, and I just don’t take the time offline like I used to.
After the success of the October Cut the Fluff Challenge, we decided to continue on. Our November challenge has been to read from a non-internet source for no less than 30 minutes a day. I biffed on it right away, on or about November 3rd. I didn’t make the time, and I just couldn’t stay awake at the end of the day. We’ve made it every other day, though.
A few months ago, Missy handed me The Golden Compass which I chose to start the challenge with. I think part of the success of the challenge is in the fact that this is a fantastic book. I powered through that and I’m almost done with the second book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, The Subtle Knife. I’m aiming to read The Amber Spyglass and complete the trilogy by the end of the month.
So my daemon is Erasmus the spider. “Solitary, shy, spontaneous, humble, and fickle.” You can tell me if I selected the right form (and transform it if I chose wrong). 11 days left before it takes its final form! You can find out your daemon as well.
I mostly hate seeing movies. Most mainstream movies these days are so bad. But I would really like to see The Golden Compass movie when it comes out.on December 7. I think Nicole Kidman is a fantastic choice to play Mrs. Coulter. Missy and I have been going back and forth on what we imagined her golden monkey daemon looked like.
So anyway, it’s fun to read again. And I like taking that time right before bed. We’ve stayed up later than we wanted to getting our reading in a number of times, so I can’t imagine we’d stick to it every day, but I intend to keep it up as much as I can. I hope I don’t ruin it by picking a crappy book. I have this thing about having to finish a book once I start it. If I hate the book, it sits there and I won’t let myself start another until it’s done. So not a lot of reading gets done. Apparently I have to try harder and pick better books.
“Sexuality and Equality: ‘Balance’ Is an Act”
Treating every opinion as if it were equal to every other is the easy way out, and we’ve been through this before.
Posted at the Poynter Institute.
What People Eat Around The World
Photos of a week’s worth of food for a family of four in different countries, spread out on a table. Most interesting to me is 1) the cost comparison between developed nations (obviously folks in poorer countries spend far less), and 2) which countries have more packaged food, and which have more fresh food. (via)
BAYU: Be Aware You’re Uploading
Relying on “traffic shaping” technology that Internet service providers routinely employ to regulate the volume of data on their networks, [the University of] Michigan’s in-house system flags any upload activity that uses peer-to-peer protocols “whether legal or not” and traces the packets to the associated user account.