Pledge drive … yet again?

I'm sure not in a major radio market. In Connecticut, I listen to Connecticut Public Radio on WNPR. Over the summer, they introduced daytime talk content between Morning Edition and All Things Considered, something that pleases me a lot.

But what does not please me whatsoever are their incessant and ever recurring pledge drives. It seems like every two months, there's a pledge drive and that's because it's true! They've started a three-day mini pledge drive today. They did one of these right before the holidays. In the fall, they did another. They did one in the summer before I went to India. That's 4-5 times in 6 months. In comparison, San Francisco's KQED does three pledge drives per year.

When I was fully employed, I gave generously to my public radio affiliates (KQED, WBEZ in Chicago, and also to my college radio station, Radio K). But since WNPR pollutes what I want to hear with these incessant pledge drives, I've been unwilling to give even at the student rate. They're really pissing me off.

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QotD: Call The Fashion Police

You must have been a fashion victim at least once in your life. What hideous blunder did you commit? 
Submitted by Tina

I'm sure I've been a part of many — the 3 1/2 inch high flattop in high school, the knickers (no, not panties: knee-high pants) from fourth grade. But the most recent one was when I was working at home. It gets drafty in this loft apartment. I put on my favorite multicolored stripy tights I got with Maggie in Munich a few years back, a denim skirt and a bright, multicolored Oililly sweater.

Enrique came home, took one look at me and burst out laughing. I tried to argue that the same orange, green and purple in the tights was also in the sweater. He said I looked ridiculous. At least I didn't make it out of the house.

These days, my biggest fashion blunder is that my clothes don't fit. Thank you, grad school, for giving me what I used to call consulting ass. Except when I had consulting ass, I could afford to buy more clothes! Grad students can't. I look forward to fitting into my jeans again. I can't buy another pair and I don't think that I should wear those stripy tights and sweater to class…

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Ba boom! Ba boom!

Ba boom! Ba boom!
Originally uploaded by maximolly.

We got up early this morning to watch the implosion of the New Haven Coliseum (along with everybody else in the city). I've never seen people move with such urgency at 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday.

We live a few blocks from the Coliseum, but our friends Gaby, Jacob and Ilana around the corner have a roof. We brought coffee and wore warm clothes. The contractor who finished the upstairs apartment was there with his friend, their kids, and a bunch of bloody marys. As we waited, the kids started yelling, "Hey! Ho! Let's go!" Blitzkrieg bop indeed!

Then, all of a sudden at about 7:40 a.m., a series of timpani strikes. BA BOOM! BA BOOM! I think I counted eight of them and managed to snap photos before the whole thing went down into a cloud. It only took a second. About a minute later, our neighborhood of Wooster Square was engulfed by a yellow-brown cloud of dust that smelled like a cap gun. We went inside. An hour later, Meredith's eyes still hurt.

The sky was brilliant blue but now, it's snowing hard. I wonder whether the dust had anything to do with it. Ba boom!

I created a set of pictures and Enrique posted his pictures (from his new camera)

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Critical imaginaries

School has started and that means the guest speaker colloquium organized by the five people in my class has started. We're really excited about it. It's called "Critical Imaginaries" and focuses on visionary representations of architecture and space in differen media: music, film, literature, video games, image, theory. 40 people showed up for the first session with Brown University's Dietrich Neumann, a visiting professor here this semester (he talked about panoramas). It's just a 12 person course, so that's a great sign.

Next week, DJ Spooky, aka Paul Miller is coming. I'm thrilled and can't wait to meet him. We'll also go see Lebbeus Woods (amazing visionary architect, professor at Cooper Union) in his studio, visit MoMA's architecture archives and receive a tour from Chief Architecture Curator Barry Bergdoll. When we're in New York, we're planning to do a Big Game, Crossroads, with the wonderful Kevin Slavin of area/code. Ralitza Petit, whose dissertation at Harvard's Graduate School of Design addressed Everquest and its architectural space, will talk about architecture and video games.

We've also got Ed Dimendberg, Jonathan Crary, Sylvère Lotringer, Reinhold Martin and Ben Nicholson.

Unfortunately, here, I'm fighting off some kind of bug. I'm not entirely sick but feel like it's just about to happen. For some reason, I just couldn't sleep last night, finally getting up at 4 a.m. and staying up till 6. I'm working from home today but the water's been turned off in my building while they do repairs.

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QotD: It Was Kismet

How did you meet your current, or most recent, significant other?

The day we met, May 1, 2005, right before I got on the plane

I'm certain I was in love with Enrique by about 2 p.m. the day we met, if not earlier.

Enrique and I met three months before we started at Yale. We're in the same program, same class: there are only five students in our class. The head of our program had told each of us that we had a lot in common. She introduced us via email and she wasn't kidding.

He was amazing: he's been a punk bassist, a maritime attorney, a Hollywood agent. He worked for Ben Stiller. He has an urban planning master's. He was living in LA and I was in San Francisco before we moved to New Haven.

We started emailing and every email anticipated what I was going to say. After about 10 days of this, I realized that my flight to Amsterdam was passing through LA. I asked if he wanted to meet up, he told me that he'd love to. On May 1, 2005, he picked me up from the airport and we spent a gorgeous, sunny Sunday together. We had brunch, we wandered Silverlake, we drove around listening to a mix CD he made me (with the amazing cover of "What A Fool Believes" played on toy instruments). At 5, he dropped me off at the airport. I kissed him twice on the cheek but we didn't otherwise kiss goodbye.

When I got to my seat on the plane, he called me. We both sputtered. "That was awesome!" 17 days (and copious emails, calls and instant messages) later, I passed back through LA and stayed with him. We were in different places from May till early August. It all worked out, though, when we got to New Haven. We'd agreed to not tell people but that didn't last long.

We live, work, and study together. He never gets boring. He's the best person I've ever met.

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Magic peppers for dinner!

The Improvisational Cook
Sally Schneider

What a satisfying dinner. I used one of my Christmas presents tonight, The Improvisational Cook (given to me by both my brother and his wife AND my dad–had to return a copy) and found that I like it as much as the other Sally Schneider book I won, A New Way to Cook. I made "Magic Peppers" and chopped them up with kalamata olives and basil, some additional olive oil and salt, popped it all in a big ramekin and pinched some goat cheese over the top. At the same time, I made little savory cookies out of a tart dough made of butter, flour, and sour cream. Then, we had an herb salad made of parsley, cilantro, tarragon, mint, chive and dill with a sherry vinaigrette.

We're not over full but we both had seconds. It was fantastic. Can't wait to try out other things in this book. Maybe the slow-roasted tomatoes as a foundation for other things this weekend? Mmmmmmm…

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Vox Hunt: A Real Mess

Show us a mess.
Submitted by Josie.

Here is my mess. This is a pile of sweaters, a book on CIAM that I referred to for a paper at the end of the semester, two small umbrellas in red and black, socks, an inside-out Norwegian sweater from Oleanna, a black hoodie from Old Navy, the armsof a Petit Bateau shirt, a belt, a Christmas box from my stepmom, the binder of all of our thesis chapter submissions, and more junk and junk.

I wish I were tidier, I wish we had more closet space (the closet is not a mess: it has an Elfa system), I wish we had a basement or some kind of storage.

BUT IT IS A HAPPY MESS BECAUSE I AM HOME. I am happy for this mess because I left my mom's place at noon and it took me 12 hours to get to my own bed, thanks to a long layover in Chicago. But I got upgraded, a lucky thing for a grad student who isn't sure why she's maintained her Premier Executive status after flying 11,000 miles last year on United (I figure it expires in February).

Let me repeat: I am home! I miss my family, but I'm so psyched for the semester. Maybe I should fold up some sweaters.

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