Aidan’s Darcy trilogy

I have finally finished reading Pamela Aidan’s Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy. I promised that I would post something here when I finished, so here are some thoughts.

NOTE: I’ve made an effort to minimize the number of spoilers but this IS a review (of sorts); there are bound to be a few extremely mild spoilers. Continue reading Aidan’s Darcy trilogy

My Newest Firefox Extension

I just stumbled upon this by accident.

Hyperwords 3.6 allows you to highlight a word in a (Firefox) browser/tab and a menu automatically pops up. This menu gives you tons of choices as to what to do with the highlighted text, including a multitude of searches (google, social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace) and a translation tool. A Flickr or YouTube search will bring up a small image preview. You can send the selected text to your email application or blog. There is a currency converter and some other neat features like viewing the Google Cache or checking the site’s traffic or ranking. Hyperwords is also customizable. I’ve already made a tweak: when you highlight anything the Hyperwords gizmo will pop up- which can be a pain when you intend to just paste something into another application- so I changed my settings to make Hyperwords pop up after highlighting and hitting F2).

There was a review from Jadawin50 that said that the extension messed with her copy and paste functionality when working from Microsoft Word and pasting into FF page or when copy and pasting from one FF tab to another tab. I just checked this out and my machine didn’t have a problem (my work computer runs XP, Office 2007, FF2.0). I’ll check it at home too, where I’m running Office 2003.

Hyperwords is pretty handy for any information professional or avid web2.0 junkie. It puts a lot of tools in one handy box.

See a demo on YouTube of Hyperwords here. Get the Firefox extension here. Don’t have Firefox? Do yourself a favor and make the switch.

For more great FF add-ons for 2.0 librarians (and other info gurus) see Michael Sauer’s post.


The Indiana Daily Student ran a review of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf on Tuesday and I completely forgot to post it. You can find it here.

I was playing around in my LibraryThing account and discovered a cool widget that I will have to put on the blog. Until I do, be it known that I am currently diving into The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen. I haven’t read Bowen since I was an undergrad and thought I should give her another try. The language seemed quite dense in comparison to what I’ve read lately (a guilty pleasure: Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga) but the imagery is exquisite. Her characters are also quite big in the ‘what is left unsaid’ department, which is something I enjoy. The experience of reading Bowen thus far has been a lot like reading Plath (in particular, The Bell Jar): I slow down my reading to focus less on content and more on word craft.

I queried Tim for a good first read to break into Terry Pratchett with. His vote was to start out with Reaper Man (if I remember the title correctly). Any and all recommendations are welcome- just please don’t start me out in the middle of a series!


I had an appointment with my doctor this morning to stock up on allergy-related prescriptions. I am NOT going to suffer this year.

The opening weekend of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf went very well. We had a good sized-house opening night and received great feedback from folks after the shows. There is a review in today’s Herald Times (you’ll need a subscription to access the article). If anyone is interested, I can email the text. I am going to check into posting full reviews to the Starrynight website. I don’t think there’s a problem doing so, as long as credit is given where due, but I want to make sure before inadvertently violating copyright. An Indiana Daily Student review is also forthcoming (although it is not in today’s paper).

I meant to record my first earthquake experience the day of said event but I was unconscious for most of the day. Quam quam, here is the story of ‘The Time I nearly got Starrynight Productions banned from the John Waldron Arts Center, or, Quake 2008′.

It was early Friday morning. Russell and I had been painting the Woolf set since about 1am at the Waldron and we were both feeling pretty exhausted from lack of sleep all week. At around 5:40am, I was in the 2nd floor bathroom cleaning paint brushes and wishing I were home in bed. I was exhausted and felt sick (due to a combination of paint fumes and low sugar levels). While cursing a paint-saturated roller, I suddenly felt/heard the building vibrate. Since I was near the sink and had been running hot water for quite some time, in my sleep-deprived haze I immediately thought, Oh, goddess, I just broke the Waldron. I shut off the water and leaped away from the sink. I tensely waited as the shaking continued for a few more seconds before ceasing. The shaking stopped, I assured myself, This is good. Now rinse out the rest with cold water so you can get the hell home.

Finally, we made it back to the apartment and, before collapsing, I managed to call my boss Linda at 6:30 to tell her I wasn’t going to be able to make it in that day.

“Did you feel the earthquake?” Linda asks me.

“Oh, no. I didn’t know we had one.” Huh, that’s odd, I thought, after getting off of the phone, I guess it wasn’t big enough to… oh.

So what I thought was the ruination of the Waldron’s plumbing at my hands was a 5.2 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter located 97 miles southwest of Bloomington. Aftershocks are still being felt (14 between Friday and Sunday). The U.S. Geological Survey measured another 4.5 magnitude aftershock around 12:40am.

In looking back at my first quake experience, I am:

  1. Thankful no one was hurt.
  2. Thankful to have had the experience.
  3. Peeved that, in this moment of potential crisis and personal injury, I was found frozen and panicking, not because I was afraid for my life, but because I feared that I had inadvertently caused the Waldron thousands of dollars of damaged, resulting in the premature demise of Starrynight Productions.

TOP is 40

Happy birthday, Tower of Power. I was delighted to find some vids on YouTube of the band in its early days.

For comparison:
Knock Yourself Out, 1973. Check out Lenny’s suit!
Knock Yourself Out, 2006. Featuring the original rhythm section (Garibaldi + Rocco + Chester) w/Santana.
What is Hip?, 1973ish? White tails and limbs akimbo.
What is Hip?, 2006. Same show as above w/Santana.

More fun:
Soul with a Capital S, 2006.
Diggin’ on James Brown, 2008. Hah! Larry Braggs. I love TOP’s current front man.
Only so Much Oil in the Ground, 2006. “No excuse for our abuse,” from Urban Renewal (1975).
National Anthem, 2006. Gorgeous. I think that one commenter was right, there is a bit of You’re Still a Young Man laid in at the end. Le sigh.
Oakland Stroke, 2006. Love Roger on keys.

Taxing Times

Sorry to those I have been neglecting! Russell’s job is keeping me busy. Yes, I know, I’m not sure how he cons me into it either. People seem to think that we have co-founded Starrynight Productions. Folks, I have my own career to worry about. That is all Russell. He has done all of the hard work getting Starrynight off the ground, I really can’t take any of the credit. I only get pulled in when he desperately needs another warm body- or when he needs a website. I couldn’t resist that one. What better way to learn than to do? So yes, Starrynight Productions=Russell McGee. He’s the man behind the curtain folks.

For the first time EVER I waited until the last minute to do our taxes. Luckily, ours are pretty straight forward and easily knocked out on a quiet Sunday morning. In an odd way, I felt part of something. I commiserated with my fellow taxpayers while standing in line yesterday at the post office (while out running for props, screws and miscellaneous set pieces for the Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf set build). I heard some horror stories from others in terms of what they owe. I also chatted up some people who have a home business to try and pick up ways to save on next years. Thankfully, we don’t owe and will be getting a comfy sum back. Maybe we can take a vacation after all (although sadly, we still can’t afford a trip to the UK like we had hoped, which is a huge disappointment). Still, it’d be nice to disappear for a week. There are plenty of pleasant places to do that on this continent that won’t bankrupt us. We could really use the break.

I’m STILL reading These Three Remain- and it’s through no fault of the writing that I am laboring over this title, I just haven’t had time. And I keep getting more great recommendations from people. I miss reading! Stupid need for sleep. Grumble.

I realized this morning that primaries are coming up very soon (Indiana’s are May 6th) and I still haven’t really done any homework. I liked Star’s idea of committing to blogging about key contenders in an effort to learn something about each. Perhaps I’ll do my own version here. In particular, I was interested in checking each candidate’s track record in terms of how s/he voted on certain issues in the past. I have a feeling I’ve seen relevant resources pop up on the Librarians’ Internet Index feed. Perhaps I can make a mini-pathfinder out of my little project. Reader, stay tuned.

Rachmoninov is so Emo

I kid. On with the post!

It’s been a hard month, culminating in a pretty draining week this week. I’ve barely seen Russell, who is either rehearsing for Woolf, in production meetings for Willy Wonka Jr., keeping up with Reva stuff, or working two part-time day jobs. Oh and Starrynight’s season needs to be beefed up. No worries, Russ, just tackle that in your spare time. The man is insane. Reader, I love him.

Speaking of new productions, after the Banshee performance last night, we met Marc at the Waldron to discuss space rental for the Show-That-May-Not-Yet-Be-Named. Russ and I are really psyched about STMNYBN and waiting on the rights to come through with Samuel French is killing us. I really want to talk up this show now. We have some pretty big plans for STMNYBN, which means we need some pretty big sponsors. It is difficult to raise funds for a show you’re not sure that you can do. Argh.

Rant tangent completed, the meeting went well, no surprises. When Russ and I finally got in the car to head home, the Rach 3.1 was on WFIU. I can’t think of a more perfect accompaniment of my emotional state at that moment, which was no doubt being empathically influenced by Russell’s mood. Oh, the longing, the passion, the hint of despair, the desperation, the angst!

I just read Star’s post today and found myself nodding frequently. My blog hasn’t been very exciting. If I’m not whining about stress (as I am now), I’m trying to promote theatre. There really is more in my life- I just don’t have time for it right now. Can I vacation now?

All said, I do enjoy helping behind the scenes. I love collaborative experiences and working towards a common goal. I really enjoy meeting interesting people that I wouldn’t have otherwise. It happens that I also like staying home at night, often by myself, and reading or writing or just relaxing to music. I like taking the time to study… stuff. I have a new fascination with image archives. Museum and library websites are SO much better these days. Even though I sometimes miss my quiet, simple life, I do love working in the arts.

On that note, I should remind all that there are two- that’s right, only two performances left of The Babbling Banshee! Come out and see us at the Cinemat tonight or drop by Rachael’s Cafe tomorrow night- both performances at 7pm. Be there or be… somewhere else, which is undoubtedly far less desirable and wanting in the way of excellent company.

3rd Piano Concerto, Sergei Rachmoninov
Girl Anachronism, Dresden Dolls