Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: May 4, 2013

Johann Georg Hainz's Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
Dear Internet,


The Lisa Chronicles


  • The Big C
    I really liked this show, while TheHusband was so-so about it but after the last season, it’s really gotten awful. The dialogue is cliched and trite, Cathy is at the core a terrible human being, and the plots are all over the place. We watched the opening of fourth season and that was enough to cement we would not be watching it again. I see this is apparently the last season, but nothing can get us to finish it out. I should have some kind of feeling for the main characters, but when I can’t even be arsed to finish out the final season, you know it’s bad.
  • Vikings
    Ragnar, Lagertha, and Floki are done for the season and I’m terribly sad to see them go. Sure this show had some growing pains, but over all, it was one of the better things on TV this past season and I’m beyond thrilled it’s coming back as a second season next year.

Weekly watching: DaVinci’s Demons, Justified, Mad MenNurse JackieThe BorgiasVeepDoctor WhoGame of Thrones,  The Vampire Diaries, Elementary, The Americans.


  • AOL pulls plug on ComicsAlliance


Evernote Hello
I’m an Evernote evangelist and just about every product of theirs I love. But Hello? Meh.
The idea is brilliant: Scan in business cards, they get OCRed, and you can assign them to meetings and add notes. Each scanned card gets its own note in Evernote, and in theory, all of the OCRed information is supposed to get populated in the fields. After all the conferneces I attend, my business card pile is inches thick. The idea of assigning cards to meetings and giving them notes is genius! Also available for free on Apple Store, AND iPhone and iPad compatible? Brilliant! Also takes advantage of your premium features from Evernote? Even better!
Except it doesn’t work quite the way

  • Cards are easy to scan into the software, but the OCR is off and doesn’t populate the fields as intended, so you still have to manually fill in the fields.
  • To start the process, you have to either scan in a card or manually add the card THEN you create the meeting. You can’t just add cards and assign them to meetings later.
  • Meetings are automatically set by location. So if I sit there scanning cards forever that I’ve gathered from various places, they all automatically get added to the same meeting at the time I’ve scanned them in.  So then you have to go in and manually change each and every card to its appropriate meeting place/location.
  • Meeting locations are powered by Foursquare — which one one hand, I understand, but on the other — seems odd.
  • Each card becomes its own note in Evernote, so you can view them on any device but you can’t edit them in any other version of Evernote other than Hello.
  • I can’t figure out, after scanning in cards, how to view individual cards or cards by meeting. The cards in the HOME option act as a scroll but I can’t sort by meeting. It just tells me I have X number of cards.
  • Searching is only available in the HOME option, which seems clunky.
  • Hello is very insistant on connecting to Facebook and LinkedIn, which I don’t want to do. But it keeps driving me nuts on making connections. No. I  just want to sort business cards. I don’t need you to make new connections for me.

This could be really awesome but instead, it’s just meh. It’s getting deleted.
Launched a few years ago as a netbookOS whose sole purpose was to turn netbooks into a cloud devices, Jolidrive has now expanded into an online service to collate all of your cloud computing apps via the browser. Sounds like a great idea: Jolidrive runs as an extension in your browser and loads in an empty tab. After logging into your Jolidrive account, you can add other services and have them easily accessible in one location. Problem is: Its execution and design is terrible. Here’s why:

  • Accounts are added into one of two places: Jolidrive’s applications and services tabs. Services are vendors they have partnerships with, such as Twitter and Facebook, whose application will run natively within the Jolidrive interface. Applications are vendors you can add but do not run natively within the Jolidrive interface. When clicking on an application, it will launch that application it its own tab. Clicking on Evernote brings me to the Evernote web login. In short, the applications tab is a page full of bookmarks that don’t really add any value.
  • If the confusion of applications vs services isn’t enough, in order to add services, you have to “share” with your friends/followers on various social networks. You’re given 3 or 4 “free” services and any services added after that require the social promotion fee to get added to your Jolidrive dashboard. This is probably the dumbest method of social promotion because it’s annoying AND you can change the content of the Tweet to be something other than they append for you. Which I did. Since the content is not hard coded, all the dashboard is registering is that I tweeted/FB something, so it unlocked applications even though the content in my tweet had nothing to do with Jolidrive as I changed the tweet to say, “sugar.”
  • The Jolidrive dashboard within Chrome, regardless of Mac or PC, is slow to load since it’s just a front end to and not a local native client.
  • The interface is clunky and unintuitive.
  • Some of applications refuse to connect or authenticate, like Facebook, despite browser/computer.
  • When you delete your account, you get a notice stating your account will be deleted within 2 weeks – er what?

Bottom line: Terrible.
What have you read/watched/listened to this week?

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2003

Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes: January 5, 2013

Johann Georg Hainz’s Cabinet of Curiosities, circa 1666. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During the Renaissance, cabinet of curiosities came into fashion as a collection of objects that would often defy classification. As a precursor to the modern museum, the cabinet referred to room(s), not actual furniture, of things that piqued the owners interest and would be collected and displayed in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Collectioun of Cunnynge Curioustes is my 21st century interpretation of that idea.
Dear Internet,
This week is the last week of my staycation (go team academia!), and in addition to working on my plans for kicking ass in 2013, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the web, by cleaning out my Pocket and Evernote stashes along with attempting at some organization of my gReader account.  I ditched Delicious and signed up with Licorize to start a workflow for all of my projects, which also includes cleaning out old saved articles and sites.
When I posted the first CCC, the idea in my head was to have one post for links and another post for my reviews of the week (what I’m reading/listening/watching). Then I realized that was a stupid idea and I should just consolidate everything in one entry instead of two.
The Far Traveler (Amazon|Local Library|Goodreads)
By Nancy Marie Brown
Sometime in 2010, I started getting interested in medieval history in a very big way, which lead to my interest of Norse mythology (and other origin stories as well as fairytales), and of course, Vikings. There were two things that I loved the most about my recent trip to England: My Cambridge University library reader’s card and seeing the iconic Sutton Hoo helmet in person.  (This also explains why I want to learn Anglo-Saxon.) I stumbled upon The Far Traveler when I read  Brown’s Seven myths we wouldn’t have without Snorri Sturluson on Tor,   Google stalked her, and had this immediately sent via interlibrary loan before the holidays.
This isn’t a straight biography, but a delicate weave of history, stories, ideas, and possibilities that surround Gudrid and her time, based on the various Norse sagas and archaeological fact. Finding bits of cloth at a Viking longhouse sends Brown into how the cloth is made, its purpose, and why it was made. The boats that have been found in digs gives way to how those boats were constructed, what they were used for, and how modern boat makers have constructed similar vessels to understand how the Vikings pillaged the seas as they did. You find yourself not only learning about the period, but also about current archaeological / historical tools and advancements, customs, society, explorations, food, religion  and everything in between. Everything is connected in Brown’s world, which is glorious as it allows Brown’s peeling back of layers to make for a very entertaining as well as educational read.
Rise of the Guardians
One thing I’ve noticed about my taste as of late in movies is I’m more apt to watch if it is animated over if it is not. There are some exceptions (period pieces anyone?), but almost always I put seeing the cartoons over anything else. Pro tip: Don’t walk into a matinee showing with your 6’6 husband and no child in tow. We got murderous looks from parents and one snobby bitch who kept trying to shuffle seats about in our row. Overall? I loved it, and in many ways it reminded me of Up with its overly hokey positive message, but who cares! It’s hard to not like a movie where Sanata is a Russian iconoclast tattooed within an inch of his life.
This is NOT the Showtime series, which I rather like, but a French-German concoction staring the American actor John Doman, Rawls on The Wire, as Rodrigo Borgia. As I said on Twitter the other night, it’s all over the place. But strangely, despite the fact no one has an Roman or Italian accent, and there may be some fudging with the historical details, it’s strangely compelling. It was produced for Italian TV
Not much this week, sad to report. I’ve been working on the metadata on my mp3s for my AudioMusicBiographically podcast, which looks like will be up by the end of January. In the mornings, when we’re working out, I’ve been making sure to listen to Girl Talk station on Pandora. But a lot of the time, I’ve been working in silence.

What have you read/watched/listened to this week?

Brevis in longo

Dear Internet,
Apparently, I’m pretty prolific. In addition to upping my writing here, I’ve also been writing every day in DayOne, which I mentioned here, and also actually working on my fiction. There is one thing to be said for a humanities scholar: We know how to crank out verbiage like no one’s business. Between the three, and this is including the re-writes of public blog entires and the fiction, I’m cranking out about 5,000 words a day. And that is being conservative. Now how much of that is “good” writing? Hard to say, really. My writing in the public sphere tends to be tighter since I obsess over the editing, the writing on the private journal has better readability (because I an writing more freely and more about the minutia of my life), while the fiction writing is still uneven in a deckled edged way. Some of what I produce for the fiction side is dreck and other times, it’s pure gold.
(Also, I decided to style myself as a modern day Samuel Pepys, at least in my head.)
I think one of the reasons why this is becoming a lot easier is that I have finally figured out a system that works for me to keep all of this organized which was so problematic for me for years. I know, it’s crazy considering that I organize shit for a living, but I couldn’t organize my writing to really work for me until now. Finding the Day One app was probably the tipping point, and also being a heavy user of Evernote and Scrivener also helped.
Here’s the status of my current projects, and which will find it’s way to Readers. The main landing page for my writing will also have all posts about this topic on the page, and if a project has their own landing page, those too will have posts updated on their landing page. Thus, if you’re hot into Edwardian good times but not Viking gore, you can skip directly to the landing page for the Edwardian projet instead of slogging through all the posts about Vikings and everything else.


Project Name: Cabinet Particulier
Status: Research
Details of the project on its own page, so I won’t repost them here. I started collecting the research in July and currently haven’t moved forward yet other than doing the readings. Ideally, I see this as a pretty big project (read book series) so I want to get it off to a good start and I have a vague idea of how the first book will go, I want to dig deeper into her world before I begin writing.
Project name: Unnamed Medieval project
Status: Idea formation and preliminary research
Details: At this point I know it’s going to concern a woman, possibly in Scotland, sometime before 1066. Possibly containing Vikings.

Short Fiction

Status: 80% finished
Summary: From my notes: Anonymous protagonist gives background on the invitation, a brief history of the Althing, and beginning of the world creation.Our protagonist is losing power and she knows this. The struggle with her, and with others like her, is how to remain relevant in a world when less number of people are believing in them. What would you do to stay relevant?
The beginning and ending are strong, but I’m floundering in the middle. It’s already at 2500 words with some heavy revision in the last week, so much so that the outtakes have their own folder in Scrivener. TheHusband read one of the first drafts and liked a lot of the clever uses for explanation of things but I can’t unstick the sticky at the moment. While I think this is at 80%, I would not be surprised if I end up ripping it entirely apart and restructuring all of it.
Status: 80% finished
Summary: What happens inside the Sistine chapel when no one is looking? Answer: Sex, drugs, and disco.
Idea sparked a “what if” when reading an article tonight about Russia’s Golden Ring and the author wrote eloquently about the medieval cathedrals and churches they were visiting. The line, “Jesus jumped off the cross, stretched, and went to light a cigarette.”, which sparked the idea of what in the hell happens in a cathedral at night when no one is around? Within minutes, I found this gorgeous virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel and the story started writing itself.


So far, I have nearly a dozen people signed up for Readers, which is awesome. I haven’t decided if I should close the request at this point or keep it open. I had planned on start pushing some of my older stuff through the list to get those cleaned up and publishable, but after reading through many of them decided not to. They are that wretched or I am not into the genre as much anymore or the story just doesn’t appeal to me. So they will stay buried in the digital trunk.
I’m so motivated to be creating again but I keep thinking what do I want to do with the stuff that I create? I definitely want it to be read by the world, but how to go about that is tap dancing in the back of my brain. Having been a bookseller for many years, I work now as a librarian, and then throw in all the writers, literary agents, artists, booksellers, and other people in the publishing world I either know personally or stalk online, I feel pretty grounded on the back end o the industry. I just want to make sure that I do the right thing by my work.
I was pretty thrilled to discover Duotrope yesterday in my quest to sort out submission organization for at least the short pieces because my librarian-fu was actually failing me looking for a comprehensive source for magazines, literary zines, and other such publications to submit my work to. At the very least, I know this is the path I want to take with my shorter fiction. I’m also thinking of some kind of crowdsourcing shenanigans might also be in place too. This is going to be amazing.

The Sign of the Four

A Wordle I recently made of the entirety of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Posted to Tumblr AND Pinterest, natch.

The last couple of weeks have been particularly vivid and that may have to do with the following in no particular order:
Battlestar Galactica
TheHusband and I began watching Battle Star Galactica several weeks ago and we’re almost finished with S3. He has remarked BSG is “…like Downton Abbey, except in space,” which I can totally get behind. When I almost accused a student recently of treason when they asked for books on Cicero AND I had been mildly hallucinating the parking lot elevators are Cyclons, I told TheHusband we needed to take a break from the action, though for the last few BSG-free nights he’s been a titch antsy in not getting his fix.
Continue reading “The Sign of the Four”

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