Friday, January 27, 2006

The Violent Femmes -- Ahh, Memories

The Violent Femmes, Sunday, March 12, The Vogue, Indianapolis, Tickets go on sale 1/27.

I have such mixed feelings about going to this show. I mean, I'd love to see the Femmes again live (maybe before they die, ha ha), but you know, I'm not 19 anymore. I'd love to go to a great live show, but then again, I'm afraid most attendees would be like me -- 38 year olds trying to recapture their youth. I'd love to see Gordon and the guys belt it out, but then again, the last time I saw them perform it was on The Today Show, and they looked like a bunch of suburban All-American dads. I could just close my eyes, ignore that they're wearing khakis and polo shirts and imagine a day when we lived and died by Add it Up, Gone Daddy Gone, and Country Death Song. But you know, I've tried to avoid putting myself in situations where the phrase "just close your eyes and it won't be so bad" applies.

The Four Meme

Tagged by Jason at Foursquare No. 266. Hmmm.

Four jobs you've had in your life: (only four? I never realized I'd had so many jobs!) convenience store clerk, newspaper reporter, public relations account executive, book editor

Four movies you could watch over and over: Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility, Sabrina (with Harrison Ford, shut up!), any James Bond movie, any Lord of the Rings movie

Four television shows you love: Veronica Mars, Love Monkey, Survivor, and the original Las Vegas CSI

Four places you have lived: Guymon, Oklahoma; Stillwater, Oklahoma; San Francisco, California; Indianapolis, Indiana.

Four places you have been on vacation: Washington, DC., London, NYC, Guymon, OK.

Four places you'd rather be right now: the bank, depositing a big check; the beach, reflecting on how well we did this year; Hawaii, just because I love Hawaii; skiing (just have had a hankering to go skiing lately)

Four websites you visit every day: Google/gmail;; Indianapolis Star, Bloglines

Four bloggers to tag: Erudite Redneck, TEditor, Corndog, (I only have time for three -- and you're excused if you've already done this one.)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Great Indianapolis Flood

The article on yesterday's disaster ermergency management seminar just made me laugh this morning. It's great that our city is drilling itself for upcoming disaster scenarios. It just made me chuckle that the most realistic, worst disaster they could think of (in light of Katrina) was a failure of the dam at Geist Resevoir. I guess if you live up the lake, you'd have a little more backyard property (although you'd have to move your boat docks out.)

Otherwise, downriver, right into the heart of downtown, they figure the water could cause some problems -- like massive flooding. Interesting. Highly unlikely, I think, but interesting.

Indiana Tool Road

See, I did it again. I mean "toll road" but it has to be a Freudian slip. My take on this whole Major Moves initiative as a non-native Hoosier? Fix the damn road! Having just "enjoyed" the Indiana Tool Road to Chicago and back yesterday, all I can say is: If Indiana can't fix it, then bring in someone who can. Geeze, the D-position seems to be "Well, we can't do anything about it, but, uh, uh, we don't want anyone outside to do anything about it either!" Will the contract go out of state allowing the dreaded "out-of-state control" of our infrastructure? Most likely. But it will put lots of in-state people to work. And, frankly, if we can't do it, let's get someone in who can instead of just suffering. I swear, this entire state is a population of farmers who go down to the implement dealer to look at a new combine, kick the tires, then go home and figure they can nurse the old one through a couple more seasons. We disagree on this one -- and DST, but Masson's blog still has the best coverage in town.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Firefly -- Maybe a Season 2?

Updated post: Monday, 1/23, 9:00 a.m.

Browncoats all over the 'verse are (not) flocking over to the new Firefly Season 2 site. The site, (which at first appeared to be registered by Universal) appears to be investigating demand for a pay-per-episode season two of Firefly. The 12-episode show from Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon had an original run on Fox 3 years ago. Fox cancelled the show after changing nights and reshuffling the order of the episodes. Eventually, they only aired 8 of the original 12. It was a short season, but long enough to be discovered by a small but loyal band of fans. Those few fans spread making the Firefly Season 1 DVD the most popular TV series DVD ever. Meanwhile, Whedon garnered support in Hollywood, reassembled the original cast, and made last fall's movie, Serenity.

Unlike what we first reported, this isn't a push by a studio to re-light the fire. It appears to be a push by someone -- or a production company -- who may want to try to liscense the rights to the show. Firefly's return to regular season television still seems incredibly unlikely. What could happen? Who knows -- maybe a direct to DVD series. Or another movie. Or possibly, a made-for-television movie. And maybe, it might be pay-per-download episodes, which would be OK with me, too. For this show anyway. It's *that* good. On the other hand, this is a loyal fan base. This show could not exist without Joss Whedon involved. Thanks to those who commented so quickly with a Bubble, the movie released this weekend by entertainment mavericks Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner and their 2929 Productions. Cuban and Wagner own the Landmark Theater chain and also are big proponents of simultaneous theater, DVD, and cable releases of film. This, of course, scares the shit out of the rest of Hollywood. Bubble is the first film they've tried and the first in their six-film partnership with Soderbergh. However, it was also heavily boycotted by other theater chains who distribute traditional films. Personally, if I had a nice home theater system and wanted to skip out on talking patrons and crowds, I'd be first in line for a new DVD. Theaters have to realize that they're a dying breed.

Check out the site, but be aware of who you're giving your information to first. And go see Bubble -- or buy the DVD. It will be showing Indianapolis at the Landmark Theater at the Fashion Mall.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Random Miscellany and a Giant Fish in the Sky

Fish in the Sky: IndyScribe has kindly done the sleuthing and figured out what the heck that new sculpture on College by the Arts Center is.

The Dreaded Pink Menace: Yesterday, another parking ticket, this time over on Senate. Yes, I actually do feed the meters. Somehow, the Indianapolis meter people have an uncanny way of finding me within 10 minutes of my meter running out. The fine has gone up from $15 if you pay in 7 days and $20 if you don't to $20 if you pay in 7 days and $50 if you don't! Since when did parking tickets get so expensive?!! How is it I go for 7 years with only two, and I've had at least three in past three months. What gives?

Sex Sells! I should blog about sex more often. Hits were through the roof on Wednesday. We reached an all time high.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Bottom Line? Your Chances for Sex are Going Down

For some reason there are a lot of sex studies in the news lately. The bottom line? There are a lot of things out there conspiring against you to keep you from having sex (and I'm not just talking about the girl you can't get a date with. I'm talking about after you're, say, married, and it's supposed to be a sure thing.) If you're on the pill, watching TV, or over 50, you're screwed. Or, actually, you're not screwed. Plus, Italians? They're not having much more sex than you are.

First, an Italian sex study shows couples with a TV in the bedroom only have sex half as much as couples without the boob tube in the boudoir.

"If there's no television in the bedroom, the frequency (of sexual intercourse) doubles," said Serenella Salomoni whose team of psychologists questioned 523 Italian couples to see what effect television had on their sex lives.

On average, Italians who live without TV in the bedroom have sex twice a week, or eight times a month. This drops to an average of four times a month for those with a TV, the study found.

For the over-50s the effect is even more marked, with the average of seven couplings a month falling to just 1.5 times. The study found certain programmes are far more likely to impede passion than others. Violent films will put a stop to sexual relations for half of all couples, while reality shows stem passion for a third of couples.

And then, there's this from a recent American study. Researchers publishing in the Journal of Sexual Medicine report the results of a seven year study and find oral contraceptives (birth control pills) can reduce a woman's sex drive.

Dr. Susan Lasch, an obstetrician-gynecologist at University Hospitals in Cleveland, said the pill can latch onto some of the free-roaming sex hormones in a woman's body, limiting the chance of sparking a sex drive.

But the study doesn't say how to stay on the pill and avoid this problem, reported WEWS-TV in Cleveland.

In typical fashion, they don't note any way to fix this problem -- except to say "[you're] stuck. You know you could always try different pills and see which one may be better for you." Gee, thanks. We singletons think the grass is always greener but who knows? I think I need to start testing more of these theories myself. Maybe some field research is in order.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Bosma -- Oozing Black Goo for Indiana

As we long suspected, Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma is in league with something evil. The Star reports on completion of a $25,000 renovation of the speaker's office to clean up and renovate oozing, black goo. Hey, we all saw Ghostbusters, we know what ectoplasm looks like. I suspect this little rewallpapering and painting project isn't going to clear this up. If he keeps up his attitude for the rest of session, I'm pretty sure the Blob-like goo will be back.

Only in Indy

The Indy Star offers a useful article for fans on how to combat the psychological effects of the Colts loss. Some very nice psychologists want to help you if you are depressed or cried during the game. From the Star:
The disbelief that follows a bitter defeat is one of several stages of grief Colts fans may experience this week, Carr said. He said loyal fans may be shocked, deny that the team was capable of losing, be angry with the players and question coaching decisions before finally accepting that the season's over.

While I'm sure Vandy is going to need psychological advice more than I am, it was a devastating loss, and it's nice to know someone cares. Only in Indianapolis.

A Day of Heartbreak

Yesterday, two sad, sad things on television. First, I don't always watch the Sunday morning news shows. I like to keep my blood pressure down (and my television always wonders what it's done wrong with I yell at it.). But yesterday I was sucked in. Meet the Press with Tim Russert featured an MLK special with a couple of very smart, savvy guests including author Taylor Branch and education researcher Dr. John McWhorter. And then there was Marion Wright Edelman of the Children's Defense Fund. I realize her career has involved focusing on the success stories with black children, but she clearly doesn't live in the same world I live in. She certainly doesn't live in the same neighborhood.

While McWhorter was discussing the serious cultural changes that need to come in order to secure the future of many of today's young black men, he also brought up the 69% single parent birth rate by young black women in at least one of today's major cities (Chicago.) Edelman seemed oblivious only reiterating the same tired message of oppression -- instead of a fresh one of change. I'm so tired out-of-touch leaders -- regardless of race or issue -- who stridently reiterate the failures of the system without offering any solutions.

We certainly need activists like Edelman in the world who are willing to devote their lives to changing and improving others, and there's no doubt the CDF has helped millions of children. But when challenged about some real issues facing today's black youth, she could only cite the "thousands getting their college degrees." Well, that's nice, but you should come down to my neighborhood and meet some of those thousands who aren't. I think even Dr. King would agree that change comes from both within and without and any movement benefits from confronting real challenges to its success. But Edleman's message was tired and dated, a litany of complaints instead of a plan for improvement. Most sadly, she came across as out-of-touch.

I salute the important work being done by the leaders in the black community today. Luckily, most of them are aware of the seriousness of the day-to-day issues, unlike Edelman.

And then there was the heartbreaking end to the Colt's season. After a fall of really making plays happen, they just couldn't do it yesterday. I'm truly a little heartbroken.

Friday, January 13, 2006

An Interesting Day in Indiana

5:05 a.m. Ka-Booom! Whoosh! I love the way it rains here. A huge burst of rainfall is always preceded by an enormous thunderclap, as if some giant up there thinks it's cosmically hilarious to startle us all out of our third story dormer bedrooms with a giant BOOM! which somehow causes all the water in a 10-square-mile area to fall from the sky. Plus, you know, thunderstorms in January are kinda odd.

State GOP Chair Steps Down: I'm sure there's a story behind the story here, but Inside Indiana Business is reporting this a.m. that Jim Kittle is stepping down as chair of the state Republican party. The Governor and Kittle are expected to name a new chair at a news conference this afternoon.

There's A New Blog in Town: 11 a.m. Air Raid provides the pointer to one of the newest Indiana blogs, Foursquare No. 266, based in Irvington (and welcome to their Little Bean.)

Deer Barges Into Video Store, Stops in Drama Section: Once again I realize I'm a little in love with the guy who writes the headlines at I mean, what could the deer want? Was he in the mood for Al Pachino? Or Meryl Streep? Maybe deer in Evansville are more sensitive than, say, in Carmel, where I'm sure he would have stopped in the Action section. Evansville police says the young deer was last seen headed south "leaping over cars". Hmmmm.

It's Weirder in Florida: And just so we know Indiana isn't alone, in Florida, a family is suing Benihana's (of fast-chopping chef and flying food fame) for wrongful death. They're claiming that the 43-year-old man had to duck a flying shrimp. Which caused a painful neck injury. Which meant he had to have surgery. And he died from complications of the surgery, possibly an infection. The family wants $10 million. The chain says "Hey, we have flying food. It's what we're known for."

Lou Rawls and the Les McCann Trio

Last Friday, as I slid onto my favorite bar stool at Ruth's Chris downtown, I mentioned to my dinner companion and also the piano player that Lou Rawls had died. The main bar piano man, Ken, at Ruth's is a font of jazz knowledge. He said his first taste of Lou Rawls had been an amazing album of him with the Les McCann trio. He graciously didn't recall the year, but encouraged us to seek this one out.

Well, plate o' shrimp as they say in my world. In Tuesday's WSJ, there's a great article on Lou Rawls' recordings including his first album - with the Les McCann Trio. The original is from 1962 on Capitol but was reissued on CD as "Stormy Monday" in 2000 by Blue Note. Look for "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water" and "Willow Weep for Me," two standards that some say mark some of Rawls' earliest, best work.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

James Bond's Car for Sale

In Goldfinger, Bond wants to know where his trusty Bentley is. A young Q tells a skeptical James Bond he has a new car: An Aston Martin DB5, complete with the all the goodies a super-spy would want: rotating number plate, machine gun, bulletproof screen in the back, an oil-slick defense mechanism, and best of all? "Whatever you do, don't press that red button." Why? It's a passenger side ejector seat.

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal reports on two major car auctions in Scottsdale next week. One featuring some pretty cool concept cars from the Harley Earl design studio (1954 was a big year for these cars apparently) and the other selling the really high end classics. The star of the show and perhaps the biggest sale? One of three remaining Aston Martin DB5 coupes custom built for the film Thunderball. From WSJ:

"The car is in perfect shape, still has all the 007 gadgetry including the revolving number plates, front machine guns (inoperable), a rear bullet-proof screen, an oil-slick sprayer and a passenger-seat ejector used with effect by Sean Connery in the film. "

Estimates are the car will sell for "somewhere between $1.5 million and $2.5 million."

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Day of Miscellany

What's Up at the State House? Attorney (and fellow WeLL denizen) Doug Masson is doing a great job recapping bills as they're scheduled and move through committee. So far it's pretty good news. Looks like intelligent design is DOA in Indiana this session. Thanks, Doug for the great work! (As he notes, he doesn't get paid for this and I'm amazed and impressed by the time these bloggers, especially the law bloggers, put in to keep the rest of us up-to-date.)

How to Keep Up? I've been using bloglines now for a couple of months and like it. It's a website instead of a software aggregator which is both good and bad, but it makes it easy to add and remove blogs you want to track. And it provides a good way to work through all the blogs you want to keep up with by seeing their new posts day-to-day.

How's This for Miscellany? My big non-work related goal today? To take my favorite wool overcoat to the tailor for a new lining. (The old one is shabby and really starting to get embarrassing. I'm supposed to be a bootstrapping entrepreneur but a tacky, unraveling business coat is starting to get pretty ridiculous.) Plus, I need to take two pairs of shoes to Kimmel's for repair. Oh, and drop off the dry cleaning. This, of course, means I'll have to venture north of 38th St which is getting increasingly hard for me as I become an entrenched downtowner. I may even have to go all the way to ... don't swoon... Fishers!

Hello, Moto!

It's geek love. My new phone? A Motorola RAZR Vc3. I'm pretty impressed with the video -- wow, I mean, I understand now why they sell TV for phones. The price of my plan actually went down (can you believe it?) so, of course, I made up for it by subscribing to VCast, Verizon's video subscription service. But in the meantime, I'm just playing with the contact-specific ringtones and speakerphone. And the Bluetooth. And the pretty moving video camera.

My favorite feature so far? The voice recognition that calls, texts, looks up and emails contacts without you having to pre-program or pre-record them. So, you just say "Call Kim Cell" if that's how you have the contact listed and up it comes. Pretty cool since I used to have to scroll down a list of 100 contacts while driving. Also, it has changed the contact listing to be more similar to a PDA -- so can consolidate multiple numbers for each person in one listing. If you look them up by voice, it asks you which number you want.

Plus, the RAZR just plain looks cool. (Hey, I warned you, it was geeeeeeky love.)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Where Am I?

Sorry no posts for a week. I've been slammed with, well, work stuff, and you know, life stuff, and, okay, more work stuff. I'm editing a book and when I'm this deep into a project, it always seems I have all kinds of words for the author and no words for myself.

And, it's not like with the legislature back in session there aren't enough "hoosiers ate my brain" moments. I can hardly wait to be back!

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Hoosiers Ate My Brain Best Posts of 2005

Last year about this time, I took a wonderfully long vacation and gave some thought to things I seriously wanted to do more of in 2005. One of those was writing. As an editor, it's awfully easy to fall into the trap of editing others' words and creating none of your own. And for me, I really just wanted to exercise my writing muscles. Some posts have been better than others -- and lately, I feel I've suffered from a lack of self-editing, in addition to my usual typo-ed glory. My posts feel long and rambly to me which is partly a function of time and brain-drain. I just don't have the time to tweak things the way I used to. That said, instead of a boring "best of" list, I thought I'd share some of the posts I felt were the highlights of Hoosiers Ate My Brain this year (creating my own form of boring "best of" list). Thanks for hanging out in my space in 2005 and here's to more fun to come!

February: The hardest thing about starting a blog is naming it! Once I decided what to call it, the rest was simple. February brought us the beginning of the Daylight Savings Time debate, a long discourse on Frito Chili Pie (and the spinning off of my food blog, Feed Me/Drink Me), and my neighbor, the violinist. Plus, the healing power of a kiss.

March: Terri Shiavo dominated the news, the Editor-in-Chief of Playgirl outed herself as a hot, dirty Republican, and Webster's New World added "D'oh" to the dictionary (spawning a long discourse on The Simpsons and one of the most searched for posts on the site).

April: I commented on libraries (and Indianapolis' in particular) entering the modern age, Mark and Lisa moved to Australia, and spring started to show itself.

May: I headed home for a visit to the Oklahoma Panhandle and the rodeo, the Michael Jackson case *finally* went to the jury (even I got bored with it) and an Indy judge ruled a couple couldn't share their pagan religion with their child.

June: June began with an interesting post where I slammed the ICLU for supporting the ban on prayer in the statehouse. Well, now we know the facts and how that's all played out -- and I've reversed my opinion, not surprisingly. And June ended with a post on big weather -- both literal and figurative (another of the most searched for posts on the site.)

July: In July, most of my writing was becoming off-blog in the form of business plans, budgets and business strategies, but I still found time to blog about summer in Oklahoma and the Erudite Redneck tagged me with a book meme .

August: In August, things started spinning out of control. A man locked his testicles in a padlock, the NCAA began forcing teams to change their names, and I found out that I really am Boss Hogg. Plus, in another very popular post in searches, the LA Times released transcripts of Marilyn Monroe's stash of audio tapes.

By mid-August I had completely surrendered to blogger's block, travel, work, and guilt. I didn't post again until October.

October: I felt my writing suffered after the break, but looking back now, there's some good stuff in October. My favorite posts: Evansville engineering students get, uh, distracted by art, a study shows women would rather sleep than have sex, Pat Miller introduces her ridiculous reproductive rights legislation, and sadly, local cyclist Sharon Wollam is killed while riding on the Monon Trail when she crashed in an intersection and was hit by a car.

November: Indiana's own Brokeback Mountain, why blogs don't suck, and dressing the house for Christmas. (I'm hearing it's been the most passed around post of the year.)

December: My favorites for December included a post on an upcoming episode of The Simpsons, The Forbes 15 Richest Fictional Characters, and possibly my favorite post of the year: The guy at Meijer.

Thanks for hanging out and listening to my opinions. Blogs are just that, a way to share opinions and unique perspectives on life. And I hope to keep providing just that. As a writer, it's a challenge, but one I think I'm up for. Thanks for all your comments and page views in 2005.