Giving you the franchise

September 28th, 2004 § Seven comments § permalink

Hey, California pals: If you’ve moved recently, and you were expecting the DMV to handle your change of voter registration, make sure you’re actually registered at your new address! I mailed my change of address form to the DMV two months ago, and they still haven’t updated my registration.

The easiest way to find out whether you’re registered is to call your county registrar of voters. For my Alameda County peeps, the number is 510-272-6973. It took me about two minutes to call and check. If you know you’re not registered, you can download the form and mail it in. You can also pick one up from any of the seventeen thousand people who are registering voters right now—but mail it in yourself, so you can be sure that it doesn’t get lost.

Remember, you will feel stupid if you aren’t able to vote this year. The registration deadline is October 18. Take care of this while you still can!

Le petit banjo

September 23rd, 2004 § Two comments § permalink

Does anyone know of a musician who sounds like Jolie Holland, Sean Hayes, or Gillian Welch, but who sings in French? Some folky Québécois, perhaps? If such a person exists, that person’s music would likely cause me to melt into a small puddle of bliss.


September 19th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

PES’ short animated films are brilliant. Most (except for the commercials) are worth watching; KaBoom! and Moth are good places to start.

Avast, ye scurvy kraken

September 19th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day! Start your celebration with some pirate riddles for sophisticates. Arrrrrr.

Maybe All This

September 18th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

Maybe all this
is happening in some lab?
Under one lamp by day
and billions by night?

Maybe we’re experimental generations?
Poured from one vial to the next,
shaken in test tubes,
not scrutinized by eyes alone,
each of us separately
plucked up by tweezers in the end?

Or maybe it’s more like this:
No interference?
The changes occur on their own
according to plan?
The graph’s needle slowly etches
its predictable zigzags?

Maybe thus far we aren’t of much interest?
The control monitors aren’t usually plugged in?
Only for wars, preferably large ones,
for the odd ascent above our clump of Earth,
for major migrations from point A to B?

Maybe just the opposite:
They’ve got a taste for trivia up there?
Look! on the big screen a little girl
is sewing a button on her sleeve.
The radar shrieks,
the staff comes at a run.
What a darling little being
with its tiny heart beating inside it!
How sweet, its solemn
threading of the needle!
Someone cries enraptured:
Get the Boss,
tell him he’s got to see this for himself!

—Wislawa Szymborska (translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Claire Cavanagh)

Jeff be not proud

September 16th, 2004 § Six comments § permalink

Ben and Jerry’s can be part of a balanced breakfast, right?

So what am I so afraid of

September 12th, 2004 § Two comments § permalink

One of my high school classmates is in contention for the role of Keith Partridge on the VH1 series In Search of the Partridge Family. And not just any classmate, but one who I betrayed, on stage, for 30 pieces of silver. I hope he doesn’t exact revenge if he becomes famous.

Heavy little objects

September 9th, 2004 § Comments off § permalink

This is so great: Heavy Little Objects, a compendium of small, beautiful things.

The kind you find in a secondhand store

September 7th, 2004 § Three comments § permalink

I made a strawberry sorbet this evening, but it failed utterly to solidify. My ice cream maker scarcely chilled it; even after another couple of hours in the freezer, it’s just starting to form icy chunks. Either it’s too damned hot in Oakland to be making sorbet or I’ve invented an amazing new strawberry-based antifreeze.

Now more than ever

September 6th, 2004 § Three comments § permalink

My work-avoidance tactic this morning: watching more old presidential campaign commercials. I especially like this treacly 1972 ad for Nixon. Who, I wonder, thought it wise to make an ad for Richard Fucking (expletive deleted) Nixon that opened with a shot of a butterfly? Meanwhile, George McGovern, who had Watergate and Vietnam to talk about, apparently couldn’t do any better than a weird little newspaper montage and a stream-of-consciousness monologue from an undecided voter.