This weblog is by Laurel Krahn
Minneapolis, Minnesota
AOL Instant Messenger: lakrahn
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Weblogging since November 1998
Media . Tech . Science Fiction . Art . Humor . Books . Music . Film . TV . Toys . Net . MN . Culture



my TV Picks are updated daily

Mr. T pities this fool

now reading
Geeks by Jon Katz
The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
Star Wars: Vector Prime by R.A. Salvatore

recommended reading
The Corner
by David Simon and Edward Burns
The Vorkosigan series
by Lois McMaster Bujold
High Fidelity
by Nick Hornby

recommended movies
Chicken Run
High Fidelity

recommended newish video releases
The Iron Giant
The Matrix
American Beauty
Being John Malkovich
Galaxy Quest

places to go, people to see
Minn-stf events
7/28-30 - Diversicon/Tiptree Awards
8/5 - Minn-stf Party/Picnic @ Minnehaha Park
8/19 - Minn-stf Meeting/Party
8/31-9/4 - Chicon/Worldcon
9/15-17 - Arcana
10/13-16 - Homicon
10/20-22 - Fallcon?
10/26-29 - World Fantasy Con
4/13-15 - Minicon 36
5/11-13 - Marscon
7/5-8 - Winnipeg Folk Festival


I love Blogger


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Friday, July 21, 2000

So I'm gazing at my portal page, thinking I should visit some weblogs. It's been weeks or months since I've visited any, really. But it's overwhelming, too. Where to begin?

And then I start by checking a couple of favorites and realize how very behind I am. And I see references to weblog world happenings that I don't know about. I don't care, much, really, but I feel very disconnected.

And I get grumpy if people don't link to me or if they link to stuff that I linked to a zillion years ago as if it's new stuff (weren't they reading me a zillion years ago? Harrumph). If people do link to me I feel guilty that I don't update more often, with more interesting stuff.

Yeah, it seems I'm set on negative feelings, probably a sign that I'm a bit depressed, of course. And I know I'm experiencing post-Winnipeg depression, post-birthday depression. And I'm looking around and realizing that the summer is more than half over! Aiee! Where'd it go? And I'm low on energy . . .

But the thing is, I'm not miserable or anything. I've just been more introspective lately. And I think after a couple of years (or more, cough cough) of being single and being pretty fine with that, I'm starting to feel like maybe I should do that whole dating thing. And that may depress me more than it excites me.

And I'm not feeling that bad, really. But like there isn't enough time in the day for me to do all I want to do. Where's the time for the weblogs? And why can't I enjoy them like I used to? I do enjoy the old favorites, but then I feel bad for not having time for more, for not checking out other favorites, for not seeing new ones. See? I always want, always want to do more more more.

Unless I'm collapsed on my couch, of course.

At least I'm reading, still. Making a point of taking an hour each workday for lunch, where I wander off to a restaurant usually and eat and read and read and read. Somehow I manage to read and even post stuff on the Well each day. And to check into and to do my tv picks and take care of the day job and feed the cats and listen to a little music and read some stuff on the web. Then there are the print magazines and catalogs that I like. Watching TV. Seeing movies. Seeing friends. Now if I could just manage to update this page a little more or to figure out a way to transmogrify it into something I would update more. Hmm.

It's a busy life a lot of the time, yet when I get introspective it seems emptier than it should be. Or like there should be More somehow. But good lord if I had more interests and hobbies it'd likely kill me. Perhaps I need more people in my life, that could be it. Or to be better at staying in touch with the ones that are. I'm navelgazing, bigtime, again.

I think the birthday hit me strangely. I'm 29. Almost 30. Thirty! Family and Friends and Teachers always expected I'd be rich and famous and accomplished by thirty (if not sooner) and I think maybe I bought into that. I think maybe I've sabotaged that a bit, too. It's weird weird weird. My life is not at all like I ever would've dreamed it in a zillion years. This isn't a bad thing, just strange sometimes when I pause to think about it. Would I rather it were something else? I dunno. This is good, I think. But I want better, somehow, too.

And I surely know Better doesn't come necessarily with more money or with fame. I've friends who've got the money and/or the fame and who're still feeling like something's missing. Or who are taken a little aback by how that doesn't make as much of a difference as they thought it would, there're still always other hurdles ahead. Ain't that the truth.

(Not that I wouldn't mind more money, no sir . . . )

Now if I could get more time somehow, but I'm pretty efficient as it stands. I joke that I need to give up a hobby or two to make room for new things, new adventures, new friends, new experiences. But. Eek! I don't know how to do that, really. Of course in a way I've let the weblog things go in favor of reading books again and that's a fair trade, but I still kinda miss weblogs, even if I'm a little grumpy about 'em. Sigh.
posted at 5:48 PM Central Time <link>

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Thursday, July 20, 2000

Emmy nominations were announced today. Mostly same old, same old, alas. Thrilled that the writers for The Corner and Homicide: The Movie were nominated. Appalled that The Corner got no acting nominations. Sigh. At least it's nominated for Best Miniseries. Sports Night was overlooked too much. Oh heck, lots of good stuff was overlooked. Oh, well.

I agree with most of what Joyce Millman says re the best in TV and the Emmys. And I'm enjoying reading the Vidiots picks for best teevee of the last year.

I'll likely post my own year end wrap up and comments on the Emmy nominations sometime next week if I can find the time to sit down and write. Assuming I'm not glued to the Big Brother feeds! (No, I don't watch 'em that often, really!)
posted at 5:38 PM Central Time <link>

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John Wesley Harding will perform on Late Night w/ Conan O'Brien (NBC, check your local listings) tonight! Cool!

JWH is one of my favorite songwriters/performers. He rocks. He's cool. I go out of my way to see him in concert, buy all his records almost as soon as they come out, etc. So watch him tonight if you can!
posted at 1:19 PM Central Time <link>

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Jonathan Carroll is one of my favorite writers (not to be confused with columnist Jon Carroll, another of my favorite writers) and a novella of his is going to be published in a limited edition this fall. Limited to 1,000 copies. Hardcover. Signed by Carroll and cover artist Dave McKean. Will cost $25 + $5 shipping. You can order 'em at the Carroll website I linked first thing in this paragraph (I already placed an order, of course, as I buy anything Carroll writes).

(Sorry I didn't mention this sooner, I blathered about it on the natter Minn-stf mailing list and then forgot to mention it here. D'oh. But there are still copies available so that's what matters).
posted at 1:14 PM Central Time <link>

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Wednesday, July 19, 2000

I'd seen these cute rubber bands with words on 'em at stores and thought it a clever idea. Turns out a Minnesota-based company is behind 'em. The article explains the origins. And here's the website for the company-- Wordstretch.
posted at 12:52 PM Central Time <link>

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Things That Canada Has that The US Doesn't (but Should Have!):
- real
Mike's Hard Lemonade and other fruity vodka based drinks
- Kinder Surprise Eggs
- Lush stores
posted at 12:05 PM Central Time <link>

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I can now state with some authority that the American version of Mike's Hard Lemonade is a malt-based beverage and only has 5% or less alcohol. The Canadian version that I remembered fondly from a year ago is indeed a vodka based beverage and clocks in at 7% alcohol. It tastes way better and comes in more flavors (cranberry lemonade, lemonade iced tea) and also comes in a less-vodka version (Mike's Not-So Hard Lemonade). I guess it's cool to see all these lemonade like beverages showing up in the US, including Mike's. But I really don't like malt-based beverages, alas. The flavor bugs me every time. Oh, well. Mike's website and ads and packaging is still way-fun and worth checking out, whether you drink this stuff or not.
posted at 12:04 PM Central Time <link>

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I drive a Chevy Astro minivan. I know, I know, it's weird that a swingin' single chick like myself drives a minivan (okay, I'm not that swingin' of a gal, really, but I am single . . .). But the van was sortof a gift from my parents, started as a loaner when my previous car blew up, became My Van for a song. It's got a gazillion miles on it and serves as my storage unit on wheels.

(Friends tease me about this. You never know what's in my van. One time I was at a Minn-stf party and my friend Sharon Kahn mentioned that she'd always been curious what was inside the X-Files mummy-like action figure. I paused, looked at her, said "hang on a sec" and went to my van. Retrieved the figure in question. We then had an action figure autopsy of sorts at the party. Yes, I'm a geek. Who has a van that contains action figures and ghod knows what else).

Anyway. Where was I? I drive a minivan. I kinda like it, usually. I'm used to riding high as my family always had vans when I was growing up. What don't I like about my van? Old rear wheel drive and balding tires. My cruise control doesn't work. My windshield wipers occasionally run when I use my turn signal. My tape deck only plays in one direction (so I have to manually flip tapes). The vent/ac/heat blower only works on high. You get the idea. It's old, okay?

All of my vehicles have been hand-me-downs. My first car was a diesel Oldsmobile of some sort, I've blocked out the details. It'd been my Grandpa's car, then my brother's car, then mine. I just remember I had to put more oil in it every other time I put gas in it. And how sometimes it was difficult finding diesel fuel when I needed it.

My next car was a grey Pontiac Grand Am. My brother had bought it used, then moved on to a different vehicle and I bought this one from him for a song. I talked about it with my best Patrick Stewart voice as Stewart was doing Grand Am ads at that time. Liked it heaps until it threw a rod and the engine was toast and that's how I ended up with my parents' old Astro.

So anyway. As my van inches it's way towards 200,000 miles (granted, it had an engine replacement at some point before I inherited it), I start to think about what kindof vehicle I'd choose, if I had a choice. I've never really picked out a car before, darnit. What do I want? So I cruise car websites and the automotive ads and consider.

I think I'm putting a premium on a vehicle with 4WD or AWD, maybe. Why? I don't plan to go offroading or anything, but I've been stuck in one too many ditches in my life. Road conditions in the midwest are often treacherous and I've really hated inching along in my iceskate of a vehicle while folks in SUVs and pickups and everything else whizzed by me. Sigh. Plus I was quite traumatized by spinning down I-29 in a sleet storm after I interviewed at Gateway. Bad bad bad time. I'm still skittish about driving in rain or snow after that.

Anyway. Back to the great vehicle hunt. Otherwise? I'm not too fussy. I don't drive a lot. Well, my work commute is only a couple of miles these days. I take the occasional road trip, of course. And drive into Mpls a lot. The geeky artist side of me wants something cute. In a good colour at least. It's fun to look, less fun to see prices and think of insurance costs. Ugh!

If anyone out there has suggestions, sage advice, and the like, it's always appreciated. I'm new at this. I don't expect to be buying (or leasing? ack, hadn't thought about that option yet) for a while yet (six months? a year?), assuming my van holds together. But I kinda wanna start narrowing down the field in case my van blows up sooner rather than later.
posted at 11:57 AM Central Time <link>

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It's time that I make a confession.

I'm addicted to Big Brother. No, not the TV show (I've only seen one of the episodes and I was underwhelmed). No, I didn't mean to watch. But yeah, I'm addicted to reading accounts of the action and to listening in on the good ol' internet.

Blame Martha Soukup and the other people posting accounts of the action on the Well in the Big Brother discussion. I read about it for a week, then finally took the plunge and checked out a feed. Now I occasionally have feeds on while I work or putter around on the computer at home. I can quit at any time, honest.

Martha's article at salon today is fab and gives you some idea what the attraction is to the webcasts. I find myself liking most of the folks in the house and enjoying their antics and wishing them well. Find myself really hating Big Brother. There's no one I really want to see booted out of the house, though I know it's inevitable and there are some folks I like less than others.

This fansite has the best Big Brother coverage, I think. And has links to the many other sites out there.
posted at 11:34 AM Central Time <link>

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