Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Looks like this will be my last post on this blog, at least for a while. Band Name of the Day has clearly run its course with both writer and reader(s) over the past few years, so it's time to move on.

Where to?
Hagioscope, my new blog. http://hagioscope.blogspot.com.

Come on over and find out.

How is Hagioscope different from BND?

  1. Hagioscope is a diary, not an essay blog. My posts may have a point/theme, or I may just ramble about whatever is on my mind. I may post several times in a day or nothing at all for a week. No format, no predictions, no promises.
  2. No mailing list. Drop by only if you feel like it.

BND was a good writing exercise there for a while. I have some nice output to show for it. But if you do any kind of exercise the same way for too long, you plateau. I need to cross-train.

Anything else?
Thanks for reading. Keep in touch.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Taking Stock

The Media Sensation has not fallen off the face of the earth. Yeah, I know you were worried. Mmhm. What I have done, however, is used the new year as a prompt to step back and take stock of my writing life.

Capsule summary: Rut City.

The essay-a-day formula is old. Like, five years old. That's about how long I've been writing Band Name of the Day. I have a nice stack of output to show for it, and that's . . . nice. But it's no longer satisfying for its own sake. I want to write stuff people want to read. What that is, I don't know. Send hints if you've got 'em.

I'll likely continue blogging, but probably be in a different format. I will almost certainly discontinue the mailing list. Beyond that, my plans are wide open. Stay tuned.

image: Michael Cope

Monday, January 09, 2006

Home School

Brought to you by randomly firing synapses.

My parents told me a great many things when I was growing up. Most of the information was useful. In fact, I can’t think of much that wasn’t. (Okay, the part about broccoli being good simply is not true.) My folks are pretty dang sharp.

Periodically, when I catch myself thinking or doing something a certain way, I remember where I learned it. Here are a few notions that have been knocking around in my head lately.

From Mom

  • Raise and lower a full glass slightly in time with your footsteps. The up-and-down motion will help neutralize the side-to-side sloshing, resulting in fewer spills. I think Mom learned this when she was a carhop at her local A&W trying not to spill root beer on her customers, but it works with hot tea, too.
  • Use your butter knife, not your fingers, to push food onto your fork.
  • If your date wants you to dress to match his car, he’s probably not your dream man.
  • Peanut butter gets bubblegum out of long hair. Mother Media should know; my grade school friends and I all had long hair, loved grape Bubble Yum, and lived on the windy plains of the wild west.
  • Cowboys don’t drink bathwater.
  • “Fingers in your ears!” Mom always said this to a carload of kids prior to shutting the doors to make sure no one’s fingers got crunched. It's good to know where your fingers are.
  • Tease gently or not at all.
  • Learn to golf and play bridge so you can socialize with business associates. I’ve learned both and needed neither, but I have learned the value of knowing which topics help keep water cooler banter alive.
  • Carry Kleenex in your purse. You never know when you’re going to need it.

From Dad

  • If you start to skid while driving a stick shift, put the vehicle in neutral. It’s easier to control when the gears aren’t engaged.
  • Use your wit to amuse, not to abuse. If you must snark, reserve it for the company of a few close friends whose discretion you trust.
  • Travel light. Actually, Dad was infamous for carrying this one to extremes. As a college student, he embarked on one weekend jaunt with friends with nothing more than clean socks in his suitcase.
  • Don’t send a letter you wouldn’t sign your name to. In other words, no anonymous rants to the editor of the local paper. No hate mail.
  • Green olives bob up and down in beer. Try it.
  • You don’t need a lot, you just need enough. Except when it comes to Christmas presents.
  • “I’ll give you $1000 to elope.” Dad said this to me when I was in junior high. Perhaps I had just mentioned having a crush on a boy, prompting jokes about the expense of paying for a daughter’s wedding. I thought $1000 an astronomical sum at the time and didn’t give the remark much thought until it came time to plan my actual wedding. Poor Dad! And he didn’t even like the groom. If there’s ever a Wedding 2.0, I’ll do my best to keep it under a grand.
  • Learn the rules of football so you’re not bored. Not only is this true, but if you’re actually into the game, you’re entitled to join in the chipping and dipping, too.
  • The snake is just as scared as you are. While intellectually Dad knew this to be true, in practice he was prone to jumping and hollering, a tradition I proudly uphold.

Today around the world: January 9 is both Balloon Ascension Day and National Clean Off Your Desk Day in the U.S. Then you send your desk detritus up up and away, right?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Make It So

I intend 2006 to be a year of less for me: less bitching, less blather, less blogging when I should be working. So look for about a 90% reduction in my postings.

Since less is more, that means more real writing of the narrative or constructive kind, and more effort at getting my ya-yas out on paper where it'll do me some good. I've been lazy about these things lately.


- trying to force color into my wardrobe
+ black. Because I like it.

- careful
+ carefree

- surfing
+ getting off my butt

- butt
+ walking

- skipping T'ai Chi
+ private lessons

- sitting around the house
+ getting out. I will visit SD, AZ, NY, NV, GA and Italy at least once apiece this year.

- Ben
+ Jerry

- "Do it by self!"
+ "Thanks, I could use a hand."

- commentary
+ comments

- Dunkin' Donuts
+ Tim Duncan

- Gap
+ Nordstrom

- reliving yesterday
+ living today

- snark
+ spark

- caring about what people think
+ caring about people



- driving
+ biking

- dissonance
+ harmony

- face
+ grace

- ( ! ) That's an e-posterior.
+ \m/ That's e-rock-n-roll "horns."

Imagination becomes reality. Make it so.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

According to Italian tradition, you should wear new red underwear to ring in the new year.

(Actually, I'm just hoping that posting a picture of myself in my underwear will boost my blog hit count.)

Happy New Year, everybody!

Friday, December 30, 2005

2005: The Year in Review

Saw friends, Rockapella and Sean Altman in NYC. Drank Manhattans in Manhattan, bought a hoodie at the Strand bookstore. Best road trip ever! Plumbing problems, transmission problems, not good. Johnny Carson died.

Ushered in the Year of the Rooster, which is my year, at the T’ai Chi studio’s Chinese New Year celebration and demo.

Created my own online survey. Saw Sister-san and family in Tucson while there on business. Quit the magazine, started a new job downtown.

Bought my Treo, entered geek heaven. Saw friends and Rockapella in La Crosse.

Spent Mother’s Day weekend in AZ with Sister-san and family. Saw the Bobs and the Flying Karamazov brothers.

Attended a Saints baseball game. Gave a T’ai Chi presentation at work. Spent time at Mom’s place.

Spent 4th of July weekend geeking out at CONvergence. Taught T’ai Chi at a Lutheran women’s conference; heard Barbara Ehrenreich give keynote address. Mom hung out at my house for a while. Saw first Santa of the year. Scotty died. Learned how to photoblog. Saw Bruce Campbell in person.

Got Sensational Acres fence fixed. Attended annual T’ai Chi retreat. Bought an iBook, the love of my geek life. Things began to go south at work.

Saw Kelly and family for Dragon*Con in Atlanta. CNE had her first birthday. Began planning for Italy 2006 trip. Saw Rockapella in Madison. Best concert ever! Saw first Christmas displays of the season. Things got seriously ugly at work.

Got fired. Got new, better job within 48 hours. Began a blissful month of unemployment. I attended a Tupperware party. Attended Amy & Jazret’s wedding.

Saw Tonic Sol-Fa in a metro suburb; I only got lost once on the way. Started new job. Attended my first flamenco recital. Saw Four Shadow’s Christmas concert.

Learned how to audioblog. Bought a digital camera. Glue-trapped the first mouse at Sensational Acres. Saw the family and Rockapella in Missouri. Made a slide show movie/DVD from all the pictures. Became addicted to Sudoku. Hosted Mother Media for Christmas. Saw my first Holidazzle parade.

All in all, a very good year. Cheers to the next one!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Brought to you by the ghost of Christmas recently past.

Christmas is finally over. The celebration that began Dec. 14 with me heading off to Missouri in a blizzard officially ends today with Mother Media backing her Buick Le Sabre out of my driveway and heading west once more. What a melancholy day this is. I don’t like parting without knowing when I’ll see her again.

It really was Christmas for me this year, not “X-mess,” as I’ve called it in previous years. I attribute my attitude shift to the fact that I didn’t buy people things this year. I stayed out of retail areas online and off. Instead, I made things. I made CDs. I made a family reunion. I made photos from the reunion into a slide show and the slide show into a DVD. I made memories. I was able to celebrate the creating and the giving rather than the buying, and it was great.

I also got to celebrate being this Christmas. I was fortunate enough to be with family for two full weeks, a rarity for me. I got to see almost everyone on one side of the family at the big party, plus spend one-on-one time with KC and Mother Media, plus play with CNE. I also get to be happy and productive in my new job, cherished by my friends, at peace with myself. I am well, and on my best days, I am good, too. I am lucky, and I am grateful.

Two weeks of Christmas seems like a lot, but I got used to it pretty quickly — so used to it, in fact, that I’ve decided to extend the happy buzz one more week. Anybody else?

Today around the world: December 28 is Holy Innocents’ Day in Mexico. Holy innocents, Batman!