“The old lady was clever enough and he thought that if she had started from any of the right premises, more might have been expected of her. She lived according to the laws of her own fantasy world outside of which he had never seen her set foot. The law of it was to sacrifice herself for him after she had first created the necessity to do so by making a mess of things. If he had permitted her sacrifices, it was only because her lack of foresight had made them necessary. All of her life had been a struggle to act like a Chestny and to give him everything she thought a Chestny ought to have without the goods a Chestny ought to have; but since, said she, it was fun to struggle, why complain? And when you had won, as she had won, what fun to look back on the hard times! He could not forgive her that she had enjoyed the struggle and that she thought she had won.
What she meant when she said she had won was that she had brought him up successfully and had sent him to college and that he had turned out so well-good looking (her teeth had gone unfilled so that his could be straightened), intelligent (he realized he was too intelligent to be a success), and with a future ahead of him (there was of course no future ahead of him). She excused his gloominess on the grounds that he was still growing up and his radical ideas on his lack of practical experience. She said he didn’t yet know a thing about ‘life,’ that he hadn’t even entered the real world – when already he was as disenchanted with it as a man of fifty.
The further irony of all this was that in spite of her, he had turned out so well. In spite of going to only a third-rate college, he had, on his own initiative, come out with a first-rate education; in spite of growing up dominated by a small mind, he had ended up with a large one; in spite of all her foolish views, he was free of prejudice and unafraid to face facts. Most miraculous of all, instead of being blinded by love for her as she was for him, he had cut himself emotionally free of her and could see her with complete objectivity. He was not dominated by his mother.”
– Flannery O’Connor
“Everything That Rises Must Converge”
My #1 celebrity crush, Jill Wagner, is leaving her co-hosting gig on the ABC show Wipeout.
This is good in a way, as Wagner has wanted to get back to acting, and even has a new show, Teen Wolf, due to start soon. It’s also good because I’ve been tiring of Wipeout for some time now. I DVR the show, and mostly just watch the parts with Wagner. I think I can get through an entire episode in around 14 minutes these days.
But it’s also bad, because I’ll miss getting my weekly “Jill fix” on the TV. But, as they say, ever upward! I hope Jill goes on to something bigger and better… so I can watch her every week! 😉
Here’s a pic from her Twitter feed, one of the last from the Wipeout set:
This season (if it happens!) marks the ten-year anniversary of the AFC North. The division was created in 2002 when the Houston Texas entered the league, and all conferences were divided up into four divisions of four teams each. There was never any doubt that Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincinnati would land in the new AFC North, but there was a time when it seemed like Baltimore might end up in the AFC South with Jacksonville, Tennessee and Indianapolis. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed, and thus one of football’s best rivalries is the twice-yearly battle between the Steelers and the Ravens.
Here’s a few fun facts about the AFC North:
– In the 153 weeks of its existence, the Steelers have been in first place the most: 56 weeks (38% of the time). The division lead has been tied 44 weeks, an amazing 29% of the time. The Ravens have had the lead for 28 weeks (18%), the Bungles have had the lead 20 weeks (13%) and the lowly Browns have had the lead for just 3 weeks (2%).
– Every AFC North division winner has had 10 wins or more per year.
– Only once have three of the four teams held first place in the same year. In 2002, the Browns were in first place in weeks 2-4. The Ravens took the lead in week 5. There was a tie in weeks 6 and 7. In week 8, the Steelers took over the lead for the rest of the season.
– Three of the division’s ten crowns were decided by a tie-breaker.
– In the division’s first six years, the division winner was the only team to advance to the playoffs in four seasons (Cleveland got a wild-card in 2002, Pittsburgh in 2005). But in the last three seasons, two AFC North teams have advanced to the playoffs.
“We may be only one of millions of advanced civilizations. Unfortunately, space being spacious, the average distance between any two of these civilizations is reckoned to be at least two hundred light-years, which is a great deal more than merely saying it makes it sound. It means for a start that even if these beings know we are here and are somehow able to see us in their telescopes, they’re watching light that left Earth two hundred years ago. So, they’re not seeing you and me. They’re watching the French Revolution and Thomas Jefferson and people in silk stockings and powdered wigs–people who don’t know what an atom is, or a gene, and who make their electricity by rubbing a rod of amber with a piece of fur and think that’s quite a trick. Any message we receive from them is likely to begin ‘Dear Sire,’ and congratulate us on the handsomness of our horses and our mastery of whale oil. Two hundred light-years is a distance so far beyond us as to be, well, just beyond us.”
– Bill Bryson A Short History of Nearly Everything
If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably heard of the “30 Day Music Challenge”. Basically, you post a link to a song or YouTube clip every day for a month. Some versions of the challenge have silly guides, like “Day 1 – A song that makes you think of your best friend”. While I have accepted the challenge, I’m not following those rules. I’m just making it up as I go.
Here are the songs for days 1-10; part 2 is here and part 3 is here.
DAY 1: “Making Plans for Nigel” by Headlights
Enjoy this fab cover of XTC:
DAY 2: “Balloon Man” by Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians
I chose this just because it reminds me of James Bolton, and our strange trip to Vero Beach, Florida in 1989. The highlight of the trip? We went to a video store to rent a couple of movies, but since this was Florida, I talked him into renting an adult film. We went back to the condo, ate dinner and first watched a “real” movie. I had a fake ID and had bought a ton of beer, so by the time we watched the adult film, we were pretty tanked. As soon as the “action” started, James started saying things like “Oh my God!” and “Ewwwww!” and “he’s putting it THERE???”. I stopped watching the movie and looked at James’ face as it contorted into all kinds of bizarre expressions. Somehow he’d managed 18 years without ever seeing a porn film, and the looks on his face were PRICELESS! He made me turn it off halfway through the film.
DAY 3: “Good Advices” by R.E.M.
I was driving somewhere with my high school friend Jeremy Wilms one day and this song came on. After the first line, in which Michael Stipe says “when you greet a stranger, look at his shoes”, Jeremy turned down the stereo, looked at me and said, as sincere as could be, “you know, that really is good advice”.
Nobody likes rebooting their Windows computer… especially when you have to do it in the middle of the day when you have 16 different programs running. Although Cache My Work won’t stop the reboots, it will make life a bit easier for you when you have to.
Just install the app, and before you reboot your computer run Cache My Work from the Start Menu. You’ll see a box that looks like this:
Just check the apps you want to restart after the reboot, and CMW will automatically open them for you. Be sure to save your work, though: although CMW can restart apps like Word and Excel, it won’t save the data you’re working on, or re-open the specific documents you have open. Still, CMW seems to work well and is better than nothing.
Cache My Work is free and works on XP SP3 (32-bit) and Windows Vista\Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit). The .NET 2.0 CLR is required.
So the missus and I saw Sun Airway, Asobi Seksu and White Lies at the Variety Playhouse in Little 5 this past Saturday. Sun Airway was good, but their set was really mellow, too mellow to stand up for. So we sat. I, of course, rushed to the stage when Asobi Seksu came out. And, after they were done, I sat back down to check out White Lies.
During White Lies’ set, Lisa pointed out that Yuki Chikudate and James Hanna (the two full-time members of Asobi Sesku) had taken seats five feet away from us to watch White Lies. Being 40, I feel like I’m just too old to be going up to bands and saying “I like you guys! Can I have a picture?”. Lisa had no such problem (maybe it’s different for girls?), so as soon as White Lies were done and the house lights went up, she rushed over and took a picture of the two of them:
By the way, that’s me in the background, holding Lisa’s cup of Cheerwine (yes, the Variety Playhouse has Cheerwine on tap!) Here’s one more pic of Yuki Chikudate hanging around the merch table after the show with the part-time members of the band:
More pics (including many of White Lies) are available on my Facebook profile!
– Those wacky Brits! I was all excited by the headline “British royalty dined on human flesh“, only to find that the actual article talks about how various human body parts were used as medicine. Mummies were ground up as powder to cure… something or the other, moss taken from dead soldier’s skulls was used to treat nosebleeds, that sort of thing. It’s an interesting article, but wasn’t quite the “Charles I feasting on leg of peasant” I’d imagined.
– You know who is pretty enough to eat? Yasmin Le Bon, who’s still got it at 46.
– Hey look! Scientists in Canada have apparently cured cancer, but no one cares! [insert “Big Pharma can’t make money off this so they’ll suppress it” conspiracy theory here.]
– And look! Farmers in China applied a “growth accelerator” called forchlorfenuron to their watermelons. Only they applied it much too late, so now much of China’s watermelon crop is exploding.
– Guess what, Americans? The Supreme Court ruled that cops don’t need a warrant to search your house! And the Indiana Supreme Court recently ruled that citizens do not have a right to resist illegal entry by the police into their homes. Wonderful. Way to overturn 800 years worth of common law, Indiana!
– Perhaps the folks in Indiana will begin pay homage to their Fearless Leaders, like Saparmurat Niyazov, president of Turkmenistan. Niyazov “had his parliament officially name him Turkmenbashi, ‘father of all Turkmens’, named streets, schools, airports, farms, and people after himself, as well as vodka, a meteorite, the country’s second largest city, and a television channel, banned the Hippocratic oath and demanded that doctors swear allegiance to him” and had a 40-foot gold statue built of himself. Nice!
– A dog in British Columbia survived a fall after being dropped from a considerable height by an eagle or some other bird of prey. It all worked out well for”Miracle May”, as she’s being called: the stray was apparently in poor health when the bird attacked her. She fell to the ground near a nursing home, and the residents took her to a shelter. When news of her story hit the media, donations poured in, and now May’s making a full recovery.
– Work in a dingy office? Use an Altoids tin to create a mini garden!
– Check out Christian Schallert’s crazy, 258 SQUARE FOOT apartment in Barcelona! It’s a bit too cramped for me, but I’ve gotta admire the guy’s ingenuity in getting that much stuff crammed in to such a small space: