The Littlest Meap

Frustration in the CA trenches

Posted by: meaplet on: October 30, 2008

The Yes on 8 folks just won’t stop. Not satisfied with blackmailing major No on 8 donors last week, last night they launched a DoS attack on . The site is still down as we speak.

Classy, Yes on 8, classy. You were supposed to be the ones on the side of “morality,” right?

Mountain Day!

Posted by: meaplet on: September 24, 2008

Today is Mountain Day, the Mount Holyoke holiday of canceling classes to eat ice cream and consider going up a Mountain.

I may not be able to skip work today, or climb Mount Holyoke, but with the aid of my accomplices Inga, Rohit and Andrew, I do what I can.

Not Dead Yet

Posted by: meaplet on: September 11, 2008

I’ve been watching closely, but so far it hasn’t.

It turns out that this is because Martha Jones and Torchwood saved the world again, complete with questionable science.

Meanwhile, here in California SLAC has no funding until November, and they won’t even listen to my advice to make an awesome rap video to rival the one those dorks at CERN made.

Epic Fail

Posted by: meaplet on: September 10, 2008

I just downloaded iTunes 8, and so far it has been a less than ideal experience.

First of all, I can’t play any of my videos from the iTunes music store until I upgrade to Quicktime 7.5.5, which Software Upgrade tells me does not exist. This includes videos I’ve had since before I upgraded–and I wanted to show Dr. Horrible to Inga, damnit!

I also set up Genius to see how it does with my music. I paused and considered the personal privacy issues and decided it was worth it to see what sorts of music iTunes recommended to match my admittedly quirky tastes.

Beyond the jump, see how they did. Read the rest of this entry »

Every day is a wonderland tour

Posted by: meaplet on: September 7, 2008

There’s something unsettling about the fact that the De Young museum allows photography of its exhibits. It turns the accustomed relationship between the art and the viewers on its head and fills its galleries with visitors who are seeing the exhibit not with an eye for the compositions that the artist created but with an eye for the compositions they can make out of it. (And most of them are doing so badly, snapping photos with their camera phones and with point-and-shoot cameras on which they need instructions to turn off the flash.)

That said, I’ve seen some pretty incredible photography of the Chihuly exhibit at the De Young over the last few months, and today I made my pilgrimage there to take my own photos. I went during a long-awaited museum trip with Mormor, Aunt V. and my cousin B. (who is off to college in another week).

I start making composition jokes at the expense of impressionist seascapes

I started making composition jokes at the expense of impressionist seascapes. I really am that silly.

We started at the Palace of the Legion of Honor to see the Woman Impressionists, which Mormor was excited about. I am, I’m embarrassed to admit, not especially interested in the Impressionists (I blame early and often exposure), but the woman impressionists were pretty interesting. Given my interest in the meta, I was fascinated by relationship the women in the exhibit (Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès and Marie Bracquemond) had with their subjects, with their gender, and with the male impressionists they worked with. With the possible exception of Mary Cassatt, all of them were mentored by more famous Impressionists and served as models for their mentors. In a particularly interesting painting, Gonzales recreates a painting of Manet’s in which she herself was the original subject; she replaces herself with another and takes on the role of the artist.

Light through a ceiling of Chihuly

Light through a ceiling of Chihuly

Still, the paintings for the most part stuck to what I expected–women with children, women alone, children alone, neat little harbor paintings divided evenly into thirds for sky, sea, and land. After a painting featuring a grayhound named Laertes, I started entertaining myself by coming up with an appropriate Shakespearean character for each painted dog. (Later, in the Dutch section of the permenant collection, B. took the cake while we were looking at a painting of a dog and a table of game: “That one’s Horatio, because he’s the only one left alive.”)

B’s favorite pieces at the Legion of Honor were the Chihulys, so he was as excited as I was when we arrived at the De Young to see the Chihuly exhibit. Once we were in, I whipped out my camera and became one of the dorky people too busy looking at the trees to see the forest of the exhibit. I have some fun glasswork photos, but mostly I (as usual) got suckered in by all the parts of the exhibit that weren’t the glasswork–the reflections, the shadows, the light filtered through the lens of the glass. In short, I had a lot of fun, but I need to learn to balance the way I look at art when I don’t have a camera on hand and the way I interact with it when I do.

More photos at Picasaweb

Posted by: meaplet on: September 5, 2008

From the ever-clever folks at “A Softer World” comes this gem.

'Those who would sacrifice Liberty for Security are eligible for a tax credit'

Delightfully enough I found myself thinking: “But I have hope again! This would have been much more apt during all those years of the Bush administration without hope.” But given the speeches I’ve been hearing all week during the RNC, maybe it is apt after all.

Life in the Underground Economy

Posted by: meaplet on: September 2, 2008

I’m back from Mendocino County after a weekend visit to my hometown. As tends to happen with every visit to the Emerald Triangle these days, I’ve got marijuana on the brain. Figuratively, not literally— my of youth spent desperately plotting to get away from there means that I’m one of the few people my age I know who has never once smoked pot. But marijuana’s influence on everything about my hometown stands out and lingers on the brain even after I’ve left.

I guess Mendo has been a center of US marijuana production for at least as long as I’ve been alive, but it didn’t really stand out to me until I went to college, and the impact seems to have increased every time I go home. To be fair, it wasn’t until I moved away that I realized how very unusual some of the basic features of my childhood were. “Trespassers will be shot” signs that meant just that and more. Relatives and family friends who count their income not in paychecks but in crops.

The hardest thing about going home is seeing the ways that there are increasing signs of income (nice homes, new businesses that don’t require profits, teenagers with fancy cellphones and ipods) while the town as a whole stays so poor. If there is one single reason that I think marijuana should become legal, it’s so that all the growers in town would have to pay taxes and we’d be able to afford the improvements that our schools, our hospital, our streets desperately need. As growers get richer and richer, they keep sending their kids to the same underfunded public schools where they get a crapshoot of an education (sorry mom) and know that they have two options for success in life: move out or start growing.

Last week my dad sent me an online survey from the County, which is collecting feedback on where we’re going to go with the relative legality of marijuana, and as I answered question after question I realized just how contradictory my opinions on the subject are.

I hate marijuana and judge marijuana smokers… but in the same way that I hate tobacco and judge tobacco smokers. I think it’s riddiculous that such a relatively harmless drug is illegal, but I’m sceptical of “medical marijuana” in California and the even laxer laws in Mendocino County in terms of how they stack up against National law. How can a substance be both legal and illegal?

My opinons get even more complex when my hometown comes into it. Undoubtedly the economy has improved, but at what cost? And since social services and education haven’t come with the improvements, while a complete dependence on an illegal substance and the resulting addiction among a large part of the populace has, what good is it?

I know growers well, I know dealers well. I know a boy who is funding his college education at an elite university by selling pot, and I applaud him for that. I’ve also noticed the high percentage of news about my high school graduating class that involves incarceration, arrest, or drug-related injury (not to mention the drug-related relationships and unplanned pregnancies).

I get angry when I see druggie San Francisco hippies arguing for the legalization of Marijuana, not thinking about how their high is impacting my community. But would legalizing marijuana make these problems worse? Or would they relieve them by evening them out with the rest of the state and the country? I just don’t know.

ETA: A trailer for this movie was featured content on the Apple start page over the weekend. Interesting coincidence.

Music recommendations

Posted by: meaplet on: August 24, 2008

I am well-known for my tendency to listen to some… unusual music. This isn’t the “I have lots of indie cred” sort of listening to music other people haven’t heard of*; it’s the “what in hell IS this, Molly?” sort of listening to music other people haven’t heard of. But some of the stuff I listen to is really good, and you should be listening to it too. To that end, a post of music that I like, that I think you would like too.

Max Vernon: He was popular on the internet quite recently for his jazzy cover of “I Kissed a Girl,” and the rest of his stuff is even better. He’s a great pianist, and a swank singer, and his lyrics are awesome. Check out The Hypochondriac Blues . Several songs are available for download on Max Vernon’s myspace page.

Bonfire Madigan Shive: Ever since seeing her as a bass-cello-playing angel in the heavens above ACT’s production of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore I’ve wanted to hear more of her music. (Listen to her play Lady Saves a Dragon From the Evil Prince, which she composed for ‘Tis Pity and you will want to too.) I am waiting for her retrospective I Bleed to arrive in the mail, and I am desperately hoping that she will release a ‘Tis Pity soundtrack. No downloads, but you can listen to more of her stuff, at Madigan’s myspace page.

Hey Young Believer: I have become one of their groupies in recent months. I’m especially fond of some of their earlier stuff when they were still The Landing and writing sad girl piano music, but their new happier songs about death are pretty cool, too. They’re a little bit more traditionally pop-y than the other stuff recommended in this post, but they’re very musically solid (Lilly and Alex both have music degrees from Stanford), fun to listen to, and they put on a great show. Downloads on MySpace and HeyYoungBeliever dot com .

There now, aren’t you totally convinced I listen to music other than Broadway? Haven’t I totally made up for the fact that instead of going to Outside Lands like all the cool people, I’m going to see Sing-Along Little Mermaid tonight?

* Except that I’ve totally fallen in love with Sigur Ros over the last couple of weeks. But if I’m more than five years late to the party, it doesn’t really count.

Didn’t we talk about this, Randall?

Posted by: meaplet on: August 21, 2008

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Turns out Randall Monroe is stalking me again, she posts via the neighbor’s unsecured Linksys.

She moved into her apartment last weekend, the AT&T folks say she will have her own internet next Monday at the earliest, and that depends on the thing that looks almost like a phone jack actually being a phone jack. Otherwise she is screwed and will spend the next year bumming off the neighbors’ wireless and never doing work at home.

(That last bit might not be so bad.)

On the bright side, though, the perilous internet situation is really the only negative about the new apartment, with the possible exception of the angry funeral home parking lot bouncer outside. The apartment is spacious, pretty, centrally located in the Mission, and ::her very own::, if not yet unpacked. It’s inexpensive enough that it’s not embarrassing to tell her monthly rent to other people who live in San Francisco, even if folks who don’t live in that august city would blanch at the price and tell her she is insane. And it’s rent-controlled.

Even the building full of skinny uniform hipsters and the anti-Google graffiti at the shuttle stop are just hilarious features of the apartment, about which her current amusing stories are soon to become repetitive. Fortunately they’ll keep being around and causing more wacky adventures in the near future.

Hopefully there will be fewer awkward hanging out with the building manager in his apartment moments than there were last weekend–he is a hugger, and she is not really, at least with people she doesn’t know very well.

Keeping up with the dela Cruz

Posted by: meaplet on: August 20, 2008

I am mostly trying to avoid meme-type things on this blog, since I generally find them pretty irritating. But I am taking this opportunity to introduce you to my wee avatar.

Mostly I find it kind of hilarious that is what is essentially yet another doll/avatar making site, just like we’ve had around since 1995 or earlier, is getting so much attention and hip internet cred. Yes it’s fancy and made with flash, and yes, it’s got higher quality images, but exactly how else is Face Your Manga any different from, say, this? Different enough to have Valleywag reporting on it?

Anyway, here I am, being a wee internet sheep now that’s it’s ok for people over 13 to use this sort of thing.

PS Erica it cracks me up that with the exception of the grin yours looks exactly like this picture.