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What's your policy when it comes to getting music recommendations from friends? Do you avoid them, take them when they come, or seek them out? How effective do you think friendly recommendations are for finding stuff you're really going to like? Do you ever feel self-conscious about getting into stuff because other people introduce you to it, instead of finding out about it some other way? Oh, and on a related note, what do you think about getting to know new music because of a significant other?

Personally, I solicit recommendations from people a lot and sometimes I find it really helpful. Maybe it's just me, but I think I'm more prone to asking for music advice than most people. When I think about the music I like, it seems like at least half of it is stuff I found out about from a friend. But at times I've gotten a bit of a 'tude from people who think it's dorky to admit you don't already know everything there is to know or that you didn't spring fully formed as an adult with strictly defined tastes. Most of the time I shrug it off. But I do feel a little defensive about getting into music because of someone I've dated. Anyways, I'm just wondering about other people's experiences with this.
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I'm writing this from Lainie's house, where I'm keeping an eye on the little schmoes. They've been pretty immersed in this video game that takes place in a Star Wars world made of Legos for most of the time I've been here. They call me in when something entertaining happens. Also, I had a snack with Cole and then he ate some Fun Dip and turned his mouth all blue. We talked about different nightmares we had had, such as his dream that Twyla the dog had four tongues. Then he said, "You're a good friend." What a sweetheart. My other interesting quote so far is from when they were playing the video game. Cole suddenly yelled, "Kill the innocents!" So cute, yet so bloodthirsty. He's a complicated man.

In other news, I finally got the third class I wanted. I've got some paperwork to turn in to make my registration official, but unless something unexpected goes wrong with that, my stupid schedule is finally set. For those of you who find this sort of thing interesting, here's what I'm taking: the second part of Theory and Literature (I took the first last semester), a sort of sweeping theory overview with Janet Staiger, a favorite professor of mine; Alternative Poetics with Charles Ramirez-Berg (another favorite from undergrad days), an actual film studies class for once; and a class called Whiteness, about the representation of whiteness in media, with Jennifer Fuller, who I've never studied with before. All in all it looks like a promising semester.
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I just found something out that probably won't interest anyone besides me. Since Karen dubbed it for me last year I have been obsessed with a Robert Wyatt song called Experiences no.2. I googled around months ago trying to find out what album it's on. I couldn't figure it out, but I did learn that the words are from an e.e. cummings poem, it is at moments after I have dreamed, though there are some bits that get repeated and couple of lines left off from the end. Today I was listening to it and wanted to look up the poem to see the words, and I accidentally found out why I couldn't find the song on any Robert Wyatt albums I found--it's not strictly a Robert Wyatt song. It's a John Cage composition, from an album called Jan Steele/John Cage: Voices and Instruments. Wyatt is the performer (the sole performer, because there's no instrumentation, just the sung/hummed vocal) but he's not an "author" of the album as it were, so it doesn't show up on discographies of his work or in any anthologies or anything. Of course, from what I can see it's pretty much impossible to find. It's even on a label called "Obscure," which was apparently run by Brian Eno. And it's old, too. From 1976. So the odds of my ever laying eyes on the thing are pretty low. It's too bad. But I'm glad I figured out where the heck that song came from.

eta: See below for a link, courtesy of handwriting...
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My copy of the Shivers' Phone Calls finally came in the mail. I like how when I imported it into itunes to put it on my ipod the genre was listed as "unclassifiable."

On a similar note, I like how when my mouse hovers over my own userpic on livejournal, a little thing pops up and says, "this is you."

I had a really good (if taxing) conversation tonight, with somebody I hadn't talked to in a long time. It was way overdue and I think it really helped both of us.

There's so much stressful stuff happening, so many things I need to figure out soon. But for the moment I'm feeling strangely peaceful about everything.

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Request #1: Can I get some comics recommendations? Mostly I'm thinking about mainstream-y superhero type stuff. When it comes to that whole mainstream-ish non-superhero kind, like I have a good idea of what I want to check out, and once I check out more of that stuff I hope I'll have an idea of where to go from there. When it comes to indie comics, well, I haven't seen anything new from that quarter that's excited me as much as the old Julie Doucet books I have on my bookshelf or the Chester Brown I read in high school and so forth, or when I have it's been new stuff from someone who's been working since those mid-to-late-90s salad days, but if there's something cool I'm missing, I would definitely like to know. But mostly I have superhero stuff in mind here, because that's an area where I don't have much of a frame of reference.

Lately I've been reading this Daredevil story, the one that starts with "Underboss." I like it pretty well but it's not grabbing me as much as I had hoped. In between Daredevil books I read the New Mutants "Demon Bear Saga" and I got a bit more into that. I really liked the style of the art on that one, plus I'm a sucker for the whole angsty teenager angle. And this whole effort to get more into this area of comics started in large part because I read the Dark Phoenix cycle and I really enjoyed that. So maybe that's some kind of indication of what I'm likely to go for, though it's not that much to go on. I've read a smattering of other stuff, I just didn't get that into any of it. Anyways, for now I'm thinking about reading some more of the New Mutants stuff from around the Demon Bear period...and I'm always on the hunt for those Wonder Woman issues that Samuel Delany wrote, because I love him...and I'm sort of interested in the whole Secret Wars period in the Marvel universe, but other than that I don't know. Oh, and I've been reading The Astonishing X-Men as an extension of my Joss Whedon obsession, and I'll probably keep doing that even though it has been kind of dumb lately.

Request #2: I'm planning a trip to NYC in March (like from the 9th or the 10th through...I forget the date but the Wednesday that SXSW starts) and I was wondering if any of you New York folks would like to hang out while I'm there. I'll be meeting up with Emma (aka lostpositive), who'll be on a visit from Cardiff, so interested parties can meet her too. I'm mostly just checking to see who'd like to get an overpriced drink, or eat pierogies, or go record-shopping or whatever. But, also, if anybody has room for one or two nice, clean, quiet girls to crash for one or more nights, that would also be helpful. I'm putting out the call to old friends and may not end up being in the market for a place to stay, but putting out some extra feelers never hurt. But if you'd like to hang out but don't know yet if you would invite me into your house, please don't be deterred! I won't be hurt. I'm also interested in hearing about any interesting shows or movie screenings or other doings that might be happening around that time.
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I was tagged by the lovable automatic_girl for a meme. Here are the instructions:

each player of this game starts off with 10 weird things/habits/little known facts about yourself. people who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 10 weird habits/things/little known facts as well as state this rule clearly. at the end you need to choose 10 people to be tagged and list their names.

My earliest memory is of watching my mom on TV. She was on Good Morning Baltimore, having her "colors done" by the lady that wrote that book about how everyone has a "season" that determines what looks good on them. I remember that I was at the neighbors' house eating a popsicle and sitting closer to the TV than I was allowed to do at home.

I once won a butt contest with a perfect score of 10.

When I was 17, I went from having waist-length to shoulder-length hair after a bunch of my hair caught fire in a kitchen accident. I put the fire out with my bare hands and was not injured.

I'm allergic to dogs and Paxil.

The house where I lost my virginity is less than a mile from my current home.

I have a really large head that is too big for most hats.

I was the "chairperson" of a feminist student group when I was an undergrad at UT. Some of the group members, dissatisfied with this bland title, used to call me "the grand poo-bah."

A guy I dated years ago recently played a small part on Veronica Mars.

A professor once responded to a friend of mine's short film, in which I appeared briefly, by saying, "You can't just have unexplained shots of Susan B______."

According to a "scientific" test I once took on the internet, the type of man I'm most attracted to is "bears" and the type of woman I'm most attracted to is "Meditteranean beauties."


OK, now for the tagging part. Needless to say, you don't actually have to do this if I tag you. OK, here goes: lostpositive, stephen_cramer, drublood, unicorncandy, hazel_rah, handwriting, 14icedbear, bp1101, boo_kat, and phylomath.

added later: I thought of a fact I probably should have added to my list: In fourth grade I was part of an act in the school talent show. Two friends and I lip-synced and played vegetables as instruments to the tune of "Eat It." I did the carrot guitar solo.
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We've had a weird cold front and lots of sleet and freezing rain and stuff, so everybody in Austin is pretty much trapped indoors today. That means no first day of school, among other things. Thankfully I just happened to go on a big grocery trip on Sunday in an effort to do more cooking from scratch at home, so I'm all stocked up with food.

I went kind of crazy with the cooking, actually. I made curried tempeh and mango salad from the Vegan With a Vengeance book, pumpkin rarebit soup from a Mollie Katzen book, a recipe for olive tapenade from a Deborah Madison book that I've been putting in grilled fontina cheese sandwiches, and fideos (a Mexican noodle dish) from another Deborah Madison recipe. And I'm thinking about making black eyed peas and kale for dinner. So I've been eating well the last few days, but I haven't had any contact with other humans except by phone, and I probably won't until sometime tomorrow. Speaking of phone contact, if anybody feels like calling me tonight it would be welcome.

On the bright side, I finally started burning copies of my very belated mix CD for the swap Karen organized in September. I need to buy some more blanks before I can finish but hopefully they'll be in the mail soon. I'm also thinking about making specific mixes for people to go with the late one, but that may just be the cabin fever talking. Anyways, here's the tracklist. I tried to keep it as a snapshot of stuff I was listening to in September.

the Curtains - Go Lucky
the Weird Weeds - One-Eyed Cloud
Magnetic Fields - Kings
Palaxy Tracks - If I Were a Julie London
Bedhead - Disorder (Joy Division cover)
Chantal Goya - Tu m'as trop menti
Dolly Mixture - Welcome to the Perfect Day
Bear Quartet - All Your Life
the Pastels - Love It's Getting Better
Peter and the Wolf - Gray Seagulls
the Receptionists - Soren Loved Regina
Tracey Thorn - Simply Couldn't Care
the Shivers - Phoning It In 3 (track 3 from a radio broadcast, title unknown)
Funkadelic - Can You Get to That
Let's Active - Counting Down
Josef K - Chance Meeting
Felt - Evergreen Dazed
the Folk Implosion - Had to Find Out
Mellow Candle - The Poet and the Witch
Mahogany - Mantissa

I should also mention that in an unusual freak occurrence, today there is wireless internet in my apartment complex that I can mooch (hence the livejournal posting). Maybe it's just because everyone is online because they can't leave their houses? I wonder. Well, it's good timing, even if it doesn't last long.
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All of my lyric quotes got guessed except for #1 and #8. I'm not that surprised about #1, but I would have expected somebody to get #8, it's a classic. And the words are from a James Joyce poem, to boot.

1. All that unfinished wine. Don't measure, it's fine.

Let's Active - Lowdown

2. I'm jumbled up, maybe I'm losing my touch. But you know, I didn't have it anyway.

Echo and the Bunnymen - Rescue

3. Time flies so fast, you miss a lot. It was two years the other night, and I forgot.

Marine Girls - Love to Know

4. That brontosaurus must have stood a thousand miles high.

Built to Spill - Big Dipper

5. Cease to know or to tell or to see or to be your own.

Nico - Afraid

6. You are unbearable. I've seen you up far too close.

Public Imagine Ltd. - Albatross

7. I'm not scared, I swear I'm free. It may collapse the fear that burns to bring the worst from me.

Sebadoh - Total Peace

8. My book is closed, I read no more. Watching the fire dance on the floor.

Syd Barrett - Golden Hair

9. Before the ice was broken, I thought it was only me.

Edith Frost - Falling

10. I think of all the years I've wasted. I think of all the years I've saved.

Magnetic Fields - Lonely Highway
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I owe everybody some kind of update and hopefully it'll be forthcoming soon. In the meantime, here's a silly meme by way of handwriting. Lyrics snippets from ten random ipod songs. Guess the band and the title in the comments if you want. Most of these seem pretty easy to me, but that may just be because I'm me.

1. All that unfinished wine. Don't measure, it's fine.

2. I'm jumbled up, maybe I'm losing my touch. But you know, I didn't have it anyway.

3. Time flies so fast, you miss a lot. It was two years the other night, and I forgot.

4. That brontosaurus must have stood a thousand miles high.

5. Cease to know or to tell or to see or to be your own.

6. You are unbearable. I've seen you up far too close.

7. I'm not scared, I swear I'm free. It may collapse the fear that burns to bring the worst from me.

8. My book is closed, I read no more. Watching the fire dance on the floor.

9. Before the ice was broken, I thought it was only me.

10. I think of all the years I've wasted. I think of all the years I've saved.
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It might be a little early for this since there are still ten more days left in 2006, but I'm doing some thinking about the last year and about how I want to start off the next one, so I figure I might as well do the requisite entry on the subject.

Ten things I learned this year:

If you're itchy all over, you might be allergic to that new kind of soap.

When you sprain something, remember the acronym R.I.C.E. for rest, ice, compress, and elevate.

I have a tendency, which I need to work on, to gravitate towards emotionally unavailable, self-absorbed people, and to try to have non-superficial relatinships with them. Part of this is getting it through my skull that no amount of correct behavior on my part is going to make a big narcissist suddenly become open and emotionally present and stuff.

Hammer-ons are a lot easier than pull-offs.

Sometimes the hardest thing isn't getting the support, approval, love, etc. of others that you wanted; sometimes it's accepting it when they offer it, and trusting that it's real.

Getting upset about things that you hear about people second-hand, especially things they've supposedly said about you, is really pointless and dumb. Though it's hard sometimes when someone is offering you gossip, it's really best to just go on your actual first-hand experiences of people and leave it at that. If you're tempted to engage in that kind of talk, just think about all the dumb things people might have said about you before and shut your ears and/or pie-hole.

On a related note, if somebody's favorite thing to do with you is to talk smack about other people, it's entirely possible they could end up talking smack about you before too long. And even if they don't, they aren't a very good friend.

Graduate school is hard. Procrastinating in that context can really get you into a pickle.

The donuts at Ken's are the best at 1 or 2 in the morning, when they're really fresh. This is particularly good to know if it's late at night and you went out to a show or something by yourself and are feeling lonely and weird and in need of some kind of tasty snack to cheer you up.

People who walk a lot (like me) should invest in good shoes and get rid of them when they have holes on the bottom.


Ten things I'd like to get out of the next year:

Some kind of progress on the whole learning-to-drive thing.

A lot more finished knitting projects than I managed this year. Preferably, at least one completed item for myself and at least one thing designed by me.

Getting back my guitar callouses.

Better work habits at school.

Learning to Navajo ply.

Being less hard on myself.

Doing better about staying in touch with people and initiating plans with my Austin friends.

Less boy-related drama.

A new friend or two, hopefully the kind that will still be around next year.

More cooking at home, less eating frozen crap.
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