Chaingang: August 8, 2011

In the mid-late ’90s, I ran a mailing list, “chaingang,” whose sole purpose was to forward links and bits and bobs to interested parties. This is the 21st century version of that mailing list, compiled weekly.

Chaingang: July 25, 2011

In the mid-late ’90s, I ran a mailing list, “chaingang,” whose sole purpose was to forward links and bits and bobs to interested parties. This is the 21st century version of that mailing list, compiled weekly.

Chaingang: July 18, 2011

In the mid-late ’90s, I ran a mailing list, “chaingang,” whose sole purpose was to forward links and bits and bobs to interested parties. This is the 21st century version of that mailing list, compiled weekly. [No chaingang for July 11.]

Chaingang: July 4, 2011

In the mid-late ’90s, I ran a mailing list, “chaingang,” whose sole purpose was to forward links and bits and bobs to interested parties. This is the 21st century version of that mailing list, compiled weekly.

  • Epic ‘Doctor Who’ Infographic Shows History Of The Companions! – I became a Doctor Who convert with the 2005 reboot and have a minor obsession with the series.
  • The History of the English Language in Ten Animated Minutes – One of my minor passions is not only the etymology of English words but how the English language came to be.
  • Penguin Classics App Shakes Up Book Browsing With A Pub Quiz For Lit Lovers – I’ll just simply refer you to this post.
  • Prejudice and Pride: Singing Jane Austen’s Song – I tumbled about this the other day: Kate Harrad gender swaps the characters in Pride and Prejudice, reimagining the classic in a wholly new and wonderful way.
  • Will it blend?: Justin Bieber – Title says it all.
  • Middlebrow: The Taste That Dare Not Speak Its Name – The author argues that the populous as a whole is neither high nor low cultured, we’re just average. And we love it that way.

Collection: 11/08/2010

A weekly collection of my writings from around the web as defined here.
name of blog : direct link to article
AMPed – Your Virtual Front Door: Part V – Using Social Media for Outreach and PR, part ii
Excessively Diverting – First it begins with an idea…then all hell breaks loose.
Excessively Diverting – Excessively Diverting is open!
Excessively Diverting – [Contest]: Pick the literacy foundation for donations from E.D.!
Jane Austen Tumblelog [tumblr] – Chapters 7 – 10 quotes, Pride and Prejudice
Reviews – Books:
The Library Diaries by Ann Miketa (GoodReads, LibraryThing)

Lisa Marie Rabey: Founder, CEO, President of Evil Temptresse’s INC.

First fan letter circa 1996. Evolution of a nickname: Seducer -> MstrssDth -> Simunye -> Lisha -> Modgirl -> Academichussy -> PnkRckLibrarian/Biblyotheke

In the spring of 2008, upon breakup with TheEx, I moved back home with my ‘rents1 for the first time since my early 20s. This was to be a temporary arrangement, a stop gap until I moved to Detroit in January of 2009 to finish library school. All of my belongings, consisting mainly of books/journals but excluding furniture which I had given away, were boxed up in the bottom of their basement. Somewhere to the tune of 40 boxes, almost 2/3rds of which were stuffed with paper goods (re: books/journals).
For those of you who can recall, the winter of 2008/09 was one of the worst in recent memory. Upon packing for my move to Royal Oak in January, 2009, I discovered that 18-20 boxes, mainly said paper goods, were destroyed in some fashion whether by being waterlogged, dampened or mildewed. The boxes were all stacked along the north wall in the basement with almost all of the bottom boxes and several second and third row boxes damaged. Because it was not a case of pipes bursting or water heater exploding or an Act of God2, insurance would not cover the damage either on my policy or my brother’s.
What had happened was that due to all the rain in the fall and blizzards and snowstorms nearer to winter, the snow/rain seeped ground and eventually into the “waterproof” basement, along that northern wall in which my entire life sat. I lost A LOT of books.*
But this is not about the loss of dear friends, but rather, about the finding of old ones. My brother recently dropped off the remaining boxes that were still sitting in his basement, 18 months after I moved. What remained were stuffed animals and storage boxes crammed with treasures3 I had not seen in a very long time. These items were affected, minimally, by the mildew and dampness so I was not in a big hurry to worry about preservation upon their initial discovery. Which is probably why, after being moved to a safer spot in the basement, they stayed there for the last 18 months. Or I was just too goddamned lazy to get them to Royal Oak, you choose.
These boxes have been sitting in our living room for the last month or two, waiting to be organized. We decided that since we are more then likely moving before winter4, now would be a good time to get this stuff sorted: keep what I can, recycle what I can and toss out what is neither keepable or recyclable. We know that there are a large number of items5 not making the trek with us to our new home, no matter where that home may be. Instead of, as before, waiting to the last minute to pack and sort, my idea is to gradually do it over time so when we figure out WHERE we are moving to, the big move will be a lot less cluttered and a lot less of a pain in the ass.
Also, I’m unemployed thus I like to give myself projects. Many of the items in the boxes were beyond repair or preservation of some sort and those got sadly tossed into the garbage. What I could save, I did and re-boxed those items up. In one of the boxes was a decorative storage box containing letters and paper items I’ve kept since high school like MY PROM ANNOUNCEMENT FROM 19886 that remained unscathed from water damage. Other papery examples included love letters from old boyfriends (back when writing on paper was still the thing to do), post cards from friends all over the world and a series a post-marked letters from “Bob Smith,” of which one of them I conveniently scanned for you at the beginning of this post.
The back story to this letter, more then likely, is that from 1995-2000s I ran a mailing list of friends and acquaintances that I met on IRC/BBSes/mailing lists that I consolidated into one general list. I think the idea I had at the time was that so many of us were cc’ing the same people, why not create a mailing list to keep it simple. I am going to assume, by the date, I may have mentioned my birthday (June 12) was upcoming and I’m also going to assume that many people asked for my home address.
Another possibility is that I owned a domain at that time and he WHOIS my domain information to get my home address. I don’t think I ever found out WHO “Bob Smith” is/was but I did receive a number of letter from him for quite some time (which are now re-boxed up) as I found a few of them while flipping through the decorative boxes content. That decorative box contains a lot of memories of high school and my early 20s, much of which I haven’t thought about probably since that time but that I swore to NEVER FORGET!!!!!7
Flipping through some of the material last night broke my heart in some places – there were people, times and events that for reasons I seemingly can only understand, should never be forgotten but unfortunately were.
So who is Bob Smith? I don’t think I ever found out and if I did, I don’t remember who he was or what happened after the letters stopped. But now, 14 years later, I do have to wonder: Did he end up becoming a 34 year old douchebag or did he grow a pair and become a flaming liberal?
I remarked to a few people recently that the digital divide is not so much about digital literacy but in reality about those who have moved their lives almost entirely online versus those who have not. These days we’re doing so much checking in, status updating, tweeting and so-called communicating we’ve STOPPED relating. Hypocrite that I am, I can be just as bad if not worse as the aforementioned, but it’s becoming painful to go out with people now to spend the entire event watching the back of their smart phone. If I had wanted to have have conversations with you via Twitter/Facebook/IM/Texting, I would have stayed home in my jammies and done so instead of slapping on war paint and dragging my ass out of the house.
We’ve stopped personalizing our experiences with each other unless it includes a badge, RT, pin, sticker or a like. This bothers and depresses me at the same time. In 1996, Bob Smith’s letters probably elicited simultaneous freaking out and giggles and now, I would probably still dismiss it as nothing. I think that right in and of itself says a lot on how drastically our culture has changed within the last 14 years and me along with it. So Bob Smith, here’s to you and wherever you may be and thanks for the memories.
1. ‘Rents comprised of my brother and Mumsy, as they live together. Explanation warranted since my father has been dead for a decade, thus saying “‘rents” might confuse people.
2. Seriously?
*. I have a list of books that I lost of which one day I’ll eventually publish as many people were too kind to tell me they would help me replace them.
3. Read: crap.
4. More foreshadowing that was started here.
5. Justin moved in with me with only a carload of stuff and much of my furniture has been shuffled from apartment to apartment over the last 10 or so years and needs to be replaced. A number of electronics, like our TV, is on the verge of dying so those items will be given or recycled upon move day.
6. I was 15 going on 16. Sadly, the hair has not changed much in the last 22 years.
7. Just imagine a drunken Lisa swaying to “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS, with a lighter in my hand trying to light a cigarette but in reality, singeing my hair.

animal farm

as previously stated, justin and I had a goal of reading all 100 books on Random House’s list of 100 best novels of the 20th century. My goal was to read all of the books on the editors choice and all the books on the readers choice, while justin was just satisfied on having read all the books on the editors choice.
we went to Barnes & Nobel last night, and scored some delicious savings by picking up several books for a buck. Since we could not find the list i had printed out, we guessed (correctly it seems) on several books, and also picked up Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Animal Farm by George Orwell, Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller and a Grahme Greene book. Tonight when I get home from work, I’m going to re-print out the list, and cross out the duplicates, and highlight what I already owned. I had already told justin that my distaste for Faulkner and Lawrence was was going to prevent me from reading their books. Faulkner is wordy and long winded while Lawrence (save that he influenced Anais Nin and Miller amongst others) just plain sucked. I had finished Animal Farm, which is a novella and not a novel, a few moments ago and was struck again by my political feelings (which while I’m a registered democrat , I tend to sway towards Libertarianism) for the world events, and brought up images of my IRC friends who were socialists.
See, I have always felt that the world is equal. By this I mean that we all have the same ability to live, breathe, eat, fuck, think and die. How we use this is up to our own invention. I have never felt that humans were equal in terms of work or life. You simply cannot take a group of homosapians and expect them to all want the same things: this simply isn’t true. This is why socialism would never work in its full regards. My wants and desires are not going to correspond with Cathleen’s, Justin’s or anyone elses. I am in induhvidual in that aspect, and that is how we are different. H.Sapiens may want the same generalized things: to be loved, to be successful, to eat good things, et al, but the generalizing of things isn’t diverse enough to be socially important. For instance, I may want to be loved (and I am), but how I want to be loved and whom I want to love me is not going to be the same ideal as how Cathleen wants to be loved.
I believe any H.Sapian is accountable for their own lives. The concept of “God” is a man made ideal, if you look back and look at the formation of the Bible, while it tells the story , supposedly from the beginning of the world to Revalations, it misses out some important issues. Namely:

  1. 2000 years of history that was removed from the beginning of time till 0 AD. This period, which covers ancient worlds of Egypt, Libya, Syria, Persia, and all Mediterranean/African/N. European areas in which pharaohs ruled the land, and we get the concept of many gods not just one. Ironically, Cleopatra (who was the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt, was part of the Ptomely clan, while her brother Ptomely the 13th died suspiciously) was the last great pharaoh of ancient Egypt. After her death, in 30 B.C., the remaining years of of that world was ruled by other family’s, namely those of Persian and Libyan descent. I just want to note that Ramses the Second, was a redhead. I found that damn cool. But he was a few hundred years before Cleopatra’s time. I find it interesting that this part of human history isn’t mentioned in the Bible at all. It is only through archeological digs that we have been able to reconstruct what happened during those 2000 years. Actually, I can correct myself on part of it. A great pharaoh is mentioned in the Bible, and it is referenced to Ramses II, but, that’s not enough of a source.
  2. It is mentioned, with the creation of Adam and Eve (leaving Lilith out I see), that they were standing upright, and had enough intellect, ability to live. Where are the caveman? Science teaches us that humans (and thanks to Darwin) we evolved from Neanderthals who roamed the earth for hundreds, if not thousands of years in semi-upright position. The things we take for, namely the ability to think and the ability to communicate, were not present. *grunt*
  3. The Bible in and of itself wasn’t actually put together and written till roughly 400 A.D. So my question is, who wrote the books and why? Namely, those books written by the 12 apostles, since they were of Jesus’s time, they were not around when the whole process was actually put together. Ironically, I have never been able to find information out where the original books of the old testament were found and written, since it is improbable that the original authors were not living at the time of publication.
  4. Since the Bible is always a best seller, is it on the fiction or non-fiction list?
  5. Why so many interpretations of the Bible? Mainly why are some issues seemingly resolved in some religious orders, and not in others. Who decrees is what for the best of that order and not for others.
  6. History teaches us, that back in the middle ages, up until fairly recently, that the only ones who were fairly literate were either those of a royal class or the “church” (since the classification of which church is dependant on what area you are actually living in at the time). What is an easier way of controlling a population other than some ‘hell and damnation’ speech, since the population, illiterate and somewhat gullible and stupid, will not know any better?
  7. Why is it that nearly every order I have found of some religious backing always makes it out that you have to have money, wear the best clothes and always be sinking money into some damn project of temples/churches. Whatever happened to “the meek shall inherit the earth”?

I’ve got a 1000 more questions and a 1000 more theories.
But I believe in work, where I should go now.
And people wonder why I’m an agnostic?
it is currently much later, and i am at work. i was reading my mail when on the listserv ChainGang a few ‘friends’ brought up that the link i had to random house was broken, and the spelling was wrong. i automatically fixed the error, and reported that. my friend Will thought it would be ‘cute’ to correct my grammar. i more or less told him what i generally tell everyone: ‘kiss my ass!’.
on the serious side, i was annoyed at how often i do misspell things, and often it is because i type so fast and because i really can’t spell. in the creation of this web site, justin proofed read it before i put it up and noticed that i didn’t spell check and had tons of errors. i jokingly told him that he could be my editor and check everything for me later on.
but it still plagued me about the misspelling issue. to me, when i go to a website, that is to look somewhat professional, and i see spelling mistakes, it irks me. okay, it irks me whenever i go to a site, period, and it’s badly spelled. but my take on this, and i know I’m right, is that i consciously try to spell things properly. but i really didn’t want to deal with the asinine emails from people about such and such being misspelled.
then there was light, and i found spell checker dot com and all was good again.
thanks to the makers of editpad, who linked spell checker dot com off of their web site, i found a place where i can user a cool macro with editpad, and i can write kick ass web pages and do spell check at the same time. rad!
my life is complete.