- Well, it seems like New Orleans is still there. Ish. Whew. There is a lot of damage, but it isn't flattened like the NWS said it could be. It will be awful there for a while, though, if what I remember of living in Florida after Hurricane Andrew is any indication (and I didn't even live in an area that was hit - but we were in the path for a while, almost evacuated, and you do sometimes remember bullets you've dodged).

- We are actually going to be hit with the remnants of the hurricane tomorrow, and Columbus might flood! It'll be a weak tropical storm by then or slightly weaker than that, but we tend to have high water levels because of all the rivers around here. I took down the porch umbrella so it wouldn't blow away again, so the (glass) table wouldn't get knocked over, etc.

- I was at the library tonight, parked by a lamppost, and it got dark while I was inside. I came out to find my car COVERED with flies, dozens, maybe hundreds, and also on the ground and in the air. I couldn't get in the car without letting some in, and then there were a few that I couldn't completely get off of me or the car. I'm ashamed to admit I was a little bit panicked, mildly terrified. Most of the flies looked like houseflies, but were smaller, maybe half the size.

litbloggers and their anti-Potter disclaimers; more on BPAL-gate! )
Last night's lesson: When comparing two nearly-identical rolls of ribbon at a fabric store, and wondering why one is slightly pricier than the other, note that the pricier one is probably double-faced satin, and the cheaper one has a rougher matte side.

Also: Tom and I went to The Dube, where I tried the club sandwich again for the first time in a year and realized that my problem with it was that they don't use turkey lunch meat - they use actual turkey breast. Just a different texture. Sandwich itself is decent. Hate their new-ish jukebox; it's so expensive (between 50 cents and a dollar per song) that it's in use barely half the time that we've been there since they got it. They went from the last jukebox - loaded with good cds, and relatively inexpensive - to a newer, internet-based box that I think is loaded with MP3s. Larger selection of music but hugely expensive for a single play. People keep playing "Go Go Godzilla" over and over. If I feel like spending the money, I usually play Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and then Poison's "Talk Dirty to Me". Also, "Teardrop" by Massive Attack (now better known as the theme song to the show House) and something by Bjork.

(I see myself in the mirror halfway across the room every time we're there, and if my hair is down, I'm always surprised by how long it's getting. I don't think it's been this long in 7 years. And since it's across the room, I can't see how badly it needs a trim!)

Also: We started watching Steamboy but haven't finished it yet. We like it so far.

Mother has been a whirlwind of cleaning this weekend, coupled with emotional instability. It's been "fun." This is because my aunt is coming to visit next weekend and she's freaking out.
Today I won a game of Scrabble, had good coffee, finished watching series 3 of Jeeves and Wooster, and managed to do a reasonable amount of housework without too much exertion. That is, you can see a difference but I didn't break a sweat or feel like I spent the whole night cleaning.

As far as Scrabble goes... I'm lost against anyone who actually has a good strategy. I rely too much on my fancy vocabulary. The good news is that most people won't challenge me when I put down a word because they assume I know what I'm talking about. The bad news is that anyone who is actually a good and frequent player can kick my ass even if they don't have the fancy vocabulary, much more so if they do or if they've made a point of memorizing some of the useful word lists. I rely on "qi" a lot - it's the same as "chi", the energy that's supposedly addressed in feng shui. Apparently I shouldn't rely on it, though, since I'm not seeing it on word lists. ("Xi" IS legal: a Greek letter.)

Very disappointed that an apartment complex that LOOKED nice from the outside, and is in my basic neighborhood, has a plethora and panoply of truly horrible reviews on internet apartment review sites. May be the worst complex in town. Is under investigation by Columbus housing authorities. Overall, it seems like people writing reviews are forgiving of problems in apartment complexes if several factors are in play: the maintenace team must be decent (at least making a strong, skilled effort to fix something properly, as well as being friendly), and the management staff must also be polite, friendly, and effective. Bad maintenance or rude management? Way higher incidence of complaint. I saw buildings with fairly high reviews that had serious problems, but because the staff was kindly and made an effort, people were willing to say positive things about the complex. Places with fewer problems and a very rude, ineffectual staff got lower reviews.
I am really tired.

Today Tom and I went to the Columbus Museum of Art to see the show Selections from the Carnegie Museum of Art. We weren't really impressed with it. The pieces I liked most were by John Currin and Kara Walker, and I'd like their pieces in any show, so.... (The Currin piece was not Pink Tree, but it was very similar, the same models in a different pose without the tree. The Walker piece was silkscreened, a more portable variation on a larger show she did a few years ago, Emancipation Approximation. "Scene 26" was one of the three panels we saw today.)

The CMA has also made some maddening decisions about its long-term collection, emphasizing a lot of frankly mediocre early-20th-century American work. Every painting they have that was done prior to 1900 is currently being displayed salon-style in a smallish dark-green room. That means that some very small medieval paintings that were meant to be viewed at close quarters (they're mostly private devotional works) are hung at a height of 7 or 8 feet, and many paintings are hung in such a way that it's very difficult to view them without a glare. So you have a large Gentileschi on one wall, a large Rubens on another wall, and a large Van Dyck on another wall, and you can't really get a good view of any of them, let alone the smaller paintings surrounding them, as many as three to a column. They also own a very famous Interior of the Oude Kirk, Delft which is displayed almost as an afterthought. This is the worst-curated area I've ever seen in a remotely-major museum. Your museum is not TGI Friday's or Buca di Beppo.

Apparently the museum owns a few Rembrandts, but I didn't see them, which horrifies me. Please don't have sold them to buy something like the huge, awful Frank Stella piece that dominates the staircase, or the Butterfield horse sculpture (not one of her better ones), or the giant Chihuly monstrosity in the sculpture court. (Chihuly has taken over Columbus in the last few years; he has a permanent exhibition down the road a bit from the CMA.) They're known for selling off their better stuff to try to buy newer stuff that will make them a "more important" museum in a few decades. The room I was discussing in the last paragraph refers to "the re-evaluation of the collection" - I am hoping that they don't try to sell off any more of what they call the "Old World Collection." Almost anything in the museum that surprises or delights is in that room, with a few exceptions. I think they are leaving alone the remainder of what they have, though, because they do have a fun children's exploratory exhibit based on 17th Century Dutch painting. (Honestly, fun enough for adults.) They also have some nice stuff by Picasso, Klee, Gris, Renoir, and a few others.

I need to go to the Cleveland Museum of Art - which has a great 20th century collection, but not at the expense of anything else. However, I can't. It's closing for the next few years for renovation. I could cry. They say they're leaving the armor court alone, but the thing is, they already screwed that up a few years ago by sticking everything in glass cases and filling the room with a warren of them. I HOPE they leave the fountain court and the rotunda alone too. (Given that IIRC they're right by the armor court, it's a good bet they'll be fine. And some of the things being redone, like the Asian collection, really needed a new home. They have a great Asian collection but it's basically been in a basement for years.)

If you're ever in Columbus and go to the CMA, hit the museum gift shop, the Old World Room, the rooms near it that feature a lot of Klee (8 pieces?), the Hall of Picasso, Matisse, and Gris that is on the opposite side of the same floor as the others (noting the Ringold quilt and the Nevelson sculpture on the way), and the kids' exploratory area on the downstairs level. Skip the rest. Such a disappointment. (Which CJ warned me about before I moved here, actually.) Go to Cleveland when it reopens.
Tonight's plans all went awry... the momster and I had planned to sit outside and kick each other's asses at some board or card game, but an unexpected storm came along. We went out for ice cream and, on the way home, stopped at the local Korean store.

The last time I was in there they had a lot of character goods, but the kind that never achieve much brand recognition in the US, not even anything as well known as "Orange Story" or "Morning Glory," just a handful of Pucca items. That was maybe six months ago, and since then, they've brought in some Hello Kitty and MashiMaro, and a handful of other, more obscure lines. Lots of cute things.

They've also started carrying some of the trendier kinds of origami paper. You can get kits for cranes, crane eggs, modular swans, roses (made with rose scented paper), flowers (the classic "iris" model), and lucky stars. For most of the types of items - excluding the modular swan, which requires specific papers - they had a variety of papers, some with "noctilucent" (glow in the dark) prints, others opalescent, others holographic, others fluorescent, others relatively plain. For lucky stars, which require long, thin strips of paper, they also sell various styles with things like "friends forever" printed on them in silver. (Actually, in general, the selection at Opane is pretty similar to the selection at my local store.)

So what did I wind up doing with the rest of the evening? I made a bunch of holographic lucky stars in various colors; this was easy to learn. Not as easy was the iris made from white paper with noctilucent stars in pink, yellow, or blue. The instructions that came with the box confused me, and the better instructions I hunted down online also didn't make sense until the second or third try. Finally, I used each to puzzle out the other and managed to make two irises.

We want to use origami cranes at the wedding mostly because they'll make pretty, cheap, and colorful decorations, so this was good practice. Maybe we'll add some lucky stars to the mix. I used up all my paper strips... there must have been around 40-50 of them... and while they're fast and easy to make, I'm not sure I can imagine actually wanting to make enough of them to make an impression. But I have more than a year to fool around with it, so who knows?
Tonight, Tom took me to see Neko Case. It was bad and good. The good side is easy: although I'm not into alt-country, I do like her voice a lot. I've never really listened to any of her records (just heard songs here and there), and I think a lot of her songs sound very similar to one another in concert, but her technique is good, and so is her backing band.

Bad, though: Oh, the venue. Are the people who run Little Brothers too cheap to turn up the a/c or is it just broken or ineffective? I thought I was going to die. I came in jeans and a cotton blouse, and before the show was even in full swing I had been outside to the smoking area twice - I DON'T SMOKE - and had unbuttoned my shirt except for the one button over my bra, and tied it up under my boobs. This is something I never do, and frankly I was a little embarrassed to have a bare midriff. By the time the show ended, I was drenched with sweat, even the exposed skin. Since it was a well-attended show, they also took the chairs away, condemning me to a horrible lower-back ache. Seriously, the music was good but every other aspect totally blew. In their defense, Little Brothers did put out a lot of free ice water.

I've learned my lesson, though, about how to dress for summer shows around here. Many venues that I've been to, in several cities, run the a/c pretty high in expectation of a crowd and stuffiness. Not in Cow-Bus, yo. I'm also going to have to seriously consider whether or not I want to go to shows that are general admission, SRO... like, ever again. There are bands for which I would still consider doing it, but they are infrequent performers in this area. Finally, no drinking hard cider when I'm too hot. Seriously, I almost barfed, people.

The other night, I had an idea for a YA fantasy novel that I'm really excited about. & Tom wants me to haul out this novella I wrote years ago to see if we can pull it into shape as a script for a graphic novel, then shop it around. I don't know precisely where said novella IS - it's still packed in one of a handful of boxes - but it'll be fun to mess with, at least.

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