Thursday, August 28, 2003


My dog loves vegetables. Right now he's chowing down on a big slice of zucchini. Well, that took about 5 seconds.This summer he has stolen and consumed tomatoes and corn off the counter and table. One time I walked out to the porch and found a smiling dog and a naked cob of uncooked corn. I think he goes and tries to steal tomatoes from the garden when I let him out at night. I know not to give him onions or garlic or other bulbs. He's not too big on lettuce or mushrooms, but he loves fruit and green beans too. Never saw another dog who thought veggies were such a great treat.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

The Tataris*

I want to puke on The Ataris and their lame ass version of Don Henley's Boy's of Summer, which I guess now qualifies as an old song, even though I remember it having a video which to me means it's not that old.
The only change The Ataris make in their little power pop, incessantly blaring from the radio version of the tune is the line about seeing a "Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac" becomes a Black Flag sticker. Oh please spare me your little punk rock pretensions wrapped up in commercial power pop complete with floppy blond haired singer. It's all so MTV and so fucking lame.
I think Don Henley and Henry Rollins should go kick the shit out of the Ataris, but I bet they have Columbia Records goons watching their backs already.
*In Japanese "Tatari" means a curse.

Book Worm

In what is probably another testament to my geekiness, or maybe I need to say dorkiness since geek now has all those computer/IT connotations, one of the things I am happiest about living back here is being able to go to the library. I rarely go in there knowing what I'm looking for and even when I do have a little wish list the books are hardly ever available. That's got to be why I actually felt a little upswelling of joy yesterday to find TC Boyle's latest book on the shelf among the new releases. There are a handful of writers who are my favorites; TC Boyle, William Gibson, Tom Robbins, Russell Banks. When there's nothing new or as yet undiscovered by me of their works available, I usually end up picking stuff at random. Yesterday I ventured up the little spiral staircase in the Dover Public Library and among the music books found Marianne Faithfull's autobiography. That should be a good read.
I suppose I should read more Vonnegut since he's kind of the godfather of all the other writers I like. Anyone got any good suggestions for other odd writers?

Friday, August 22, 2003


I'm not sure if it's all that industrial strength crafting glue I've been using, the wicked heat and humidity, the proximity of Mars, the industrial scale compost fumes from around the bend or a combination of all of the above, but I must have been out of my mind to have baked blueberry muffins in the middle of the sweltering 95 degree day it was today. They are damn good muffins, but it was still awfully hot to be baking.
I think this whole extended summer vacation has got me just about brain dead. Two more weeks and I'll be back in the classroom. I'm probably going to need more than that to keep me occupied though.

Personality Disorder Test - Personality Test


-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --

I'd never even heard of schizotypal before, but after reading the description I guess it kind of fits. Didn't even really need a test to tell me that anyway.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003


These are a couple of barrette prototypes I made last night. Got the basic idea from and had a Doraemon craft book lying around to use for the experiment. I'm going to bring these to the store today and show them to Stef. If she likes them, I'll make some more neatly made ones to sell there. It would also be cool to make bracelets, picture frames and earrings on the same theme.
In case anyone is wondering, the words on the short barrettte are-- ladder, billy club, paste. It's not supposed to mean anything. I just liked how they looked together.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Crafty 2

I found a cool new site--
And speaking of crafts. The picture is of Rachel and the rainbow colored, "70s" crocheted pillow I made for her. The pillow colors didn't come out so great in the picture, but the model's sure cute!

Thursday, August 14, 2003


It seems I have a fan. Cool.
I think Junior (on the left in the photo) just likes me because I went to his last gig and liked the new songs, especially the one with the chorus "Baby come be my whore".
I don't know. That doesn't look so good written down here in black and white. Maybe you had to be there.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Sing a Song

We practiced all miked for vocals the other day. I can't really play and sing together very well yet but I did better than I expected. It was fun singing Wiggy. Stef felt the need to disown the lyrics and explain to Chip that they were based on my (not her) experiences, which they are and aren't. Sometimes fiction makes a greater truth. And I know I'm not the only one with experiences. Actually I think it's kind of good that the lyrics make her uncomfortable. It means I'm agitating. Subversion is really the only goal I have for this whole endeavor. Expression and subversion. And free bar tabs.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Convenience Shopping in the Dog Days

Three houses down the street they have a big garden and a table set out where you can buy their vegetables. There's a scale hanging from a tree branch and a little tupperware bowl where you can leave your money. I walked over and got a zucchini to grill up with some pork ribs yesterday. It was very nice-- just zucchini, olive oil and a little kosher salt grilled over charcoal.
Today I'm making ratatouille. I got zucchini, summer squash, green pepper and a couple of tomatoes down the street and had to go to The Broken Pushcart for eggplant, garlic and red and orange peppers. I'm using herbs from our garden. Dinner will be ratatouille, couscous, toasted pita bread and hummus.
I guess when I have nothing more pressing to do I cook. That's not so bad. Better than sitting around watching E! or VH1. I hardly ever even watch tv of my own volition anymore. If I feel the need to space out in front of the tube after dinner I just watch whatever cartoons or kids shows my daughter is watching. I get my 30 minute fill of it and go do something else.
It seems I spend most of my time these days feeling like I'm not using it properly-- like I should be engaged in something more meaningful or at least profitable.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Ramble On

Big day today. I've got a mic, courtesy of Chip and Dave and the guy who plays the trumpet who Dave works with who has sold me his Shure SM58 for $45! Score! Yesterday I went to Earcraft and bought a mic stand, mic clip, mic cable and some strap locks (finally). I am all ready to rock and to sing. We'll be practicing with everyone miked for vocals for the first time in a couple of hours. I'm psyched, but...
Singing freaks me out. Japan was good because over the years I did get to the point where karaoke no longer freaked me out. Karaoke in Japan generally means sitting in a little room with your friends or whoever, who are all talking and/or looking through the catalog to figure out what song they're going to sing next. Alcohol may or may not be involved. It's not like anyone is really paying that much attention to how anyone else sings. It's looked on as a form of stress release, which I think is actually a very healthy outlet. So I guess I don't really hate karaoke after all. It's fun.
But karaoke is not the same as singing in a band. I am certainly no Mariah Carey, but I'm not tone deaf either. I led the alto section in chorus in 6th grade. I even got some sort of music award then too, but I can't remember what it was for. I'm just going to do it, damn it.
It's going to be like everything else I've ever done that I really wanted to do. At first I'm going to suck at it and then I'll keep doing it until I can do it. Then I'll probably get bored and wonder why I thought it was so great anyway and will look for something else that I can't do but want to try. Or maybe not.
Wow. How's that for a little Sunday morning cynicism. No wonder my daughter tells me I'm like Daria.

Friday, August 08, 2003

A Perfect Circle

It's ironic that I left this area when I was 18 because I was tired of always being known as someone's daughter or someone's sister. I went away for 20 years and made a name for myself in totally different circles where all people knew about me was me, not my family, not my history.
And now I've moved back here and anytime I go out I'm right back where I started, as someone's sister. In a lot of ways it's cool but there's still something that grates at me, even though I know it shouldn't. As long as I'm here and hanging out with her I will always be the little sister. I guess by this point that is something that is never going to change.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

A True Conversation

"Where's the key to the bathroom?" my husband asked.
"What key to the bathroom? The bathroom door doesn't even lock, does it?" I asked back.
"Yes it does." he said.
"Why do you need the key to the bathroom?" I asked.
"The dog is in there." he replied.
"The dog is locked in the bathroom?" I questioned.
"Yes. And it's dark," he replied as he searched for keys.
"The dog is locked in the bathroom in the dark?" I pondered aloud. "We don't have any keys that'll work in that lock. You're going to have to go through the window from the deck." I advised.
So my husband headed out to the deck and then proclaimed that the screen wouldn't come off. While he went back inside and rummaged around in his tool box I took the screen off the window.
"Shiro, I got the screen off." I informed.
"How did you do that?" he inquired.
"With my hands." I replied.
He helped our 8 year old daughter through the window whereupon she turned on the light and unlocked the door to free the incarcerated dog who was completely unphased by the whole incident.
"Why was the dog trapped in the bathroom in the dark?" I asked my husband.
"I don't know" he replied.
"But you put him in there in the dark and locked him in, right?" I pursued.
"I was testing him"
"Testing him?"
"Yes, I was testing how brave he is in the dark."
Well I guess the dog must have passed the but I'm not real sure about my husband at the moment.

What Is and Used to Be

When our friend was here visiting last week we took a little walking tour of Portsmouth. I'm either trying to overcompensate for being away for so long or I'm just getting old, but I have a tendency to refer to every shop and restaurant by what used to be there. So I see The Gap in Market Square and think, this used to be JJ Newberry's, the Coat of Arms that used to be Toucan's (ick). I even see Gilly's and remember it used to be parked on Congress Street when I was a kid.
On State Street we walked by this new restaurant which used to be The Victory Diner. I have dim memories of eating English muffins there at 2am on a Saturday morning, probably from back in the days when I used to use my sister's ID to go sneak into the Riverside where Bruce Pingree spun the (new wave) tunes.
Speaking of partying in Portsmouth-- Partyfight will be playing at the Coat of Arms in 2 days. Think I might have to go and see what those guys are up to these days.

Monday, August 04, 2003


A friend once said anything you write that is good is probably something you'd be embarassed for your parents to read. Well, by that definition Stef and I must have written some good lyrics for our song provisionally known as "Iggy".
Even though we had already spent the whole afternoon together at Dad's house for a cook out, I somehow managed to talk her into practicing yesterday evening. Didn't want to make it into a production by calling Chip so it was just Stef and me. We played around with a song we're going to cover and then we decided to take on the task of putting vocals and lyrics to "Iggy". It wasn't really my intention to make it into a catalogue of the bad men in my past, but it sort of ended up that way. Wonder if I'll ever be able to sing it without collapsing in a fit of laughter like we did last night.
Thought it was kind of wimpy of Stef to decline from adding something from her own experiences to the lyrics. She first suggested we do something kind of generic like a "you said you'd call but you didn't" theme. That sounded pretty weak to me but it somehow prompted me to come up with the opening line "Didn't know you were married 'til your wife called", which isn't exactly true to my experience, but within the realm of artistic license it's close enough.
Stephanie can drive me nuts sometimes. She says she wants to be all rocked out and in your face and then she gets all demure. Well, actually she did follow up my opening line with "Nice going buddy. You have no balls" which almost made me pee my pants from laughing so hard. I figure if we're going to get up there and entertain people we may as well be entertaining beyond the fact that we're two sisters with guitars and a drummer. Then again, I'm not held back by the fear that we're going to become major recording artistes and a big media sensation. I think Stef has lingering concerns that she and Chip (before I came along) could have been The White Stripes. I figure if we're lucky we can make ourselves a name as an entertaining local bar band.
I know I'm being bitchy but sometimes you just need to vent and that's what I started this blog for in the first place. And I'm pretty sure my sister never reads it anyway.

Friday, August 01, 2003


Took a class at UNH yesterday to learn how to use Blackboard, a "comprehensive and flexible e-Learning software platform." It's like the system I used at Ritsumeikan, but I get to decide how I want to use it. There is no Japanese interface for the program itself in the version used at UNH, so all the menus and text will have to be in English until they upgrade to version 6 next semester, but I can post documents in PDF and .doc formats for homework assignments and reference materials.
So far I know I will have the class syllabus, review and reference handouts, homework assignments, links to Japanese learning sites and probably a discussion room on my course's site. I think online teaching tools are so cool but I wonder what the students think. Is it just something they expect? Is it no big deal? Sometimes in teaching now it's easy to get lost in all the technology.
I have no idea what to expect of my students. They will definitely be different from the kids I taught in Japan and probably also different from the students I taught in Hawaii eight years ago. School doesn't start for another month and I'm already starting to get psyched about it. Basically I am such a school-loving geek that I had to become a teacher.