QotD: I’m A Completist

Do you own all the albums of any particular musical artist or group? Who?
Submitted by dutterman.

Paul Weller, and Joni Mitchell,

and The Jam…

Not all their works can be genius, but depth in a collection is nice.  Sometimes the ones I don't like grow on me, and other times I wind up wanting to give it away, it's just not great.  I have high hopes for Joni's new one on the Starbucks label.

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QotD: Life-Changing Decision

What decision changed the course of your life? 
Submitted by Ally.

Getting married.  And keeping my rescue cat, Bruno.  I was never a marrying-nesting-maternal-material person.  My husband and cat showed me that it was just a matter of the right circumstance.  If not for marriage, I'd probably still be moving from city to city, job to job, running around with my head cut off.  If not for Bruno, I might've thought I was a cold, heartless woman without a maternal instinct in the world.  I'm still not material though, which is  good.

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QotD: Style Overhaul

When was the last time you made a drastic change to your personal style (i.e., wardrobe, hairstyle, etc.)? What did you do? 
Submitted by miyna

I got cancer.  No hair, bad skin, loss of muscle tone, hormone imbalances…need I go on?

All I can do is try to have fun on the good days, and try to relax on the bad ones, and slog it out through the mess, one way or another.  And try not to let what people think undermine my progress.

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Farewell, Mayberry-by-the-Bay

Hello, land of long driveways.  Aesthetically, this is more our style.  But I'll really miss the easy beach access and the amenities of Alameda.  Sigh.  Oh well, moving on.

Cancer changed our priorities at the very last minute, when we were about to consign ourselves to a lifestyle of working to meet house payments, taxes, et al ad infinitum.  If we were more commuter-oriented, we might've bought in 2003, before the horrible bidding wars.  Anyway, we'll be here for a bit.  Maybe I'll get better and things will change again—-

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London Town

In lieu of actually posting photos, which were mostly taken with my friend's digital camera and I haven't received a cd copy of them yet, and a few taken with a painfully mediocre disposable camera with a highly inaccurate viewfinder—let's just say they're not worth sharing.  That's right, I went to London without a camera, because my husband had the one we share on a business trip.  Silly, I know.  I contemplated purchasing one at the last minute, and probably should have, and returned it afterwards if unsatisfied.  Oh well.

The Stonehenge photos came out ok though.  That'll be another post.

I think I may be doomed to posting on this trip for a long time, possibly in bits and pieces, as I find things, and time to talk about it.  I believe it's adequately digested and everything has the soft, fuzzy glow of memory blurring the edges now.  Which doesn't make it less rock-n-roll, in a very old, thousand years sort of way.  Which is why England, or maybe Europe in general, is so great for strange convergences of gothic fantasy taking place in modern surroundings (as in Harry Potter, say, or Underworld).  All the buildings are ancient, such as the St. Pancras Chambers being converted into condominiums and a 10 million pound penthouse. 

It's a gorgeous, old, holy-looking place next to Kings Cross station and a block from the British Library.  Man, I can't even imagine how much those places would go for once they're built.  Especially since the dollar is worth almost nothing in the UK/Europe.  The BBC has a bit of a virtual tour of the grand interior on their site.

London Tower BridgeThames River, LondonWestminster_abbey_westPalace of Westminster, London

I will say this: a day trip to the English countryside is a must.  No matter where you choose to go, you probably can't go wrong.  I wish I'd gone for at least 10 days, and taken more than 2 tours.  London has many charms in the form of tourist attractions and architectural focal points, and the atmosphere feels very easy and casual here.  The people are mostly wonderful—I think we had one grouchy cabby that made a remark about how slow we were at exiting his cab ("Sometime today")…which is not nice when one has a cane and is trying to dismount onto a cobbled street.  But the guy who exchanged our vouchers for theater tickets deserved flowers and chocolates and probably a nice dinner for staying 45 minutes past closing time for us, and for even answering the phone at closing time.  I'm pretty sure that wouldn't happen here.

Anyway, more on specific points in another post.  Consider this sort of a starter.  In the meantime, for a quick and charming memoir about a trip to London, read Helene Hanff (of 84, Charing Cross Road fame)'s The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street.  It's a super-quick read.

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RIP Tony Wilson

Blast it!  Another one bites the dust.  This time it's Tony Wilson, legendary founder of Factory Records.  Article here.  I think this means I'll be watching 24 Hour Party People and listening to all that music that reminds me of my sordid college years.  Yikes. 

Another face to add to the cancer wall of fame.

This trailer sort of explains it, as there's not much other live footage of Tony…


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