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Laurel Krahn's weblog since August 1998.

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Laurel/Female/31-35. Lives in United States/Minnesota/Minneapolis/Minnetonka, speaks English. And likes television/pop culture.

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Saturday, June 30, 2001


Less than a week 'til I turn 30 (on Thursday, July 5th). Boy did this year go fast.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Thursday, June 28, 2001

i hate coming up with subject lines

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

baseball all star balloting

Saturday is the last day you can vote for Major League players you'd like to see play in this year's All-Star Game. You can vote up to 15 times online. Have at it if you haven't yet (and are a baseball fan).

In other baseball news, this weekend the Twins are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the 1991 World Series. I'm going to the game on Saturday.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

road to springfield

I could've sworn I'd already linked to The Road to Springfield, but a search didn't turn it up. So here it is!

Linked to all over the place, by now, I first heard of it from Monty.

Who is the most popular Simpsons supporting character? Place your bets and your votes . . . and be sure to overanalyze the bracket.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

all about winnipeg

It's not quite too late to buy a ticket/pass for the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

My biggest vacation of the year rapidly approaches. Winnipeg. How do I describe it? I don't know how. Maybe I'll try to keep a journal this year.

If you're going to be at the festival and aren't with Baggiecon and are wondering how to find us to say "hi" or see what all the fuss is about, drop me an email. The Baggiecon website won't be ready (alas) until after this year's festivities.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Tuesday, June 26, 2001

they call me myrtle

(okay, nobody does).

Find your Hobbit Name. I'm sure everyone is linking to it, but since I haven't had time to read any weblogs of late, I'm unaware. My friend Karen Cooper sent the link to the natter Minn-stf mailing list.

I'm: Myrtle Hamwich of Buckleberry Fern

(Please contain your laughter).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

i can't wait until march 15

Julius Caesar's Weblog (spied somewhere or other).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Friday, June 22, 2001

tam lin as canonical shakespeare on barrayar

Or something like that.

Tam Lin, a Barrayaran Shakespeare Play by Jo Walton

It'll make the most sense if you know from Shakespeare and have read Pamela Dean's take on Tam Lin and at least some of Lois McMaster Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan books. You'll get more out of it, that is. I saw it read at Minicon and it was much fun.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

fear of a pink laptop

Most people who know me, know that I've been faunching after a laptop computer for ages. I'm a geek that's never had a portable computer (unless you count the Commodore SX-64 luggable for ages ago).

But I really don't want one that looks like this. Nope, no way. (Even though I have other merch emblazoned with this character, I've got to draw a line somewhere).

(Link via Aaron Barnhart on the tvbarn2 mailing list of tvbarn.com).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

new books and stuff

Steven Brust's new novel in the Vlad Taltos series is now out. It's called Issola and of course you want it.

And then there's Starlight 3, the latest edition of the finest current series of sf anthologies I know. Edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

You also probably want Neil Gaiman's new book American Gods.

And if you're a Gaiman fan and don't yet own the two CD set Warning: Contains Language (which is a recording of Gaiman reading a bunch of his stories, plus it has a Flash Girls song or two), Dreamhaven has reprinted some more copies. So no need to try and get it on ebay where you'd probably end up paying way too much.

(am i a shill for my friends or what?)

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

new Flash Girls album

Wow! Woohoo! Yippee! Yay! And on and on . . . (I'm whooping, just like old times).

The new album by the Flash Girls (the Fabulous Lorraine Garland & Emma Bull) is called Play Each Morning Wild Queen and is now available at Dreamhaven Books and from Fabulous Records (whose website hasn't yet been updated, but you could still send 'em the appropriate amount of money and an order and get CDs from them, I bet).

The album was produced by Adam Stemple, engineered by Leo Whitebird. Lots of the usual suspects play on the album, including Adam Stemple, Steven Brust, Lojo Russo, Robin Adnan Anders, John Sjogren, and Todd Menton. Cover art by Michael Zulli.

With songs by Lorraine, Emma, Neil Gaiman, Todd Menton, A.A. Milne, and Dorothy Parker. Yes, really. And some by that trad guy.

Whee! Tracklist: Driving With Noel, Threnody, Lily of the West, Buckingham Palace / Dunford's Fancy, A Meaningful Dialogue, Race To The Moon, The Wine with the Stars In It / Mr. and Mrs. Mara, All Purpose Folk Song (Child Ballad #1), Sure of Me, Ride on / Reverend Guiness, Personal Thing, Nottingham Ale.

And if you want to chat with other Flash Girls fans, you might want to join signal-to-noise, the Flash Girls mailing list (which I've administered since 1991 or '92 or so. I've lost track. Wow.)

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Thursday, June 21, 2001

true story

I'm part of a small tech services team at my workplace, who takes care of UNIX servers and a bunch of Macs and a few PCs. Dan works with me.

Dan: I hate computers that don't work.

Me: You've got the wrong job.

(so maybe it's a slow day and I thought I'd share. Haven't had time to browse the web much lately, thus the lack of posts here).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

one tough notebook

A coworker brought in a Toughbook for us geeks to look at today.

Wow. An extremely rugged laptop computer. Built in wireless, touchscreen monitor, built very tough. Very cool.

I think I need one for my camping trip! (Okay, that's not happening. How will I cope with being offline for a week?)

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Tuesday, June 19, 2001


You don't want to know how many hours I've spent looking at stuff on the Campmor and REI websites.

Yes, I'll be camping in less than a month. And somehow I feel like I need to buy gear. Even though I survived (and had a great time) last year with the gear I have. And had a great time the year before that with very little gear (and what I had was borrowed).

Money is tight, so I'm managing to resist buying stuff. But oh the temptation . . .

(Anyone have any good or bad experiences with particular tents or brands of tents? If I purchase anything, it'll be a new tent and I'm going crazy trying to figure out which one I want).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Monday, June 18, 2001

big sale at garnet hill

Garnet Hill sells great sheets and comforter covers, among other cool things.

And they're having a Big Sale at the moment. I am sorely tempted by a number of items.

(Some may remember this is where I bought my rocketship flannel comforter cover).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Saturday, June 16, 2001

north by northwest

I've got to get around to adding North by Northwest to my favorites list.

I'm mentioning the DVD now because it's been marked down to $15 at online retailers and at many stores. I paid $20 or $30 for it when it first came out and it was worth every penny. One of my favorite films, the DVD is gorgeous, the film looks better than ever before letterboxed and all cleaned up. It's now $15 and if you've got a DVD player, there's no reason not to own it.

The documentary that comes with it is pretty good and the commentary track by Ernie Lehman is pretty darn cool, too.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

best gifts

I'm really looking forward to the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Lots of my friends are going to be there (some for the first time, some after not having been in a while). That's the best thing: knowing I'll be hanging out with people I like a lot. Plus: great music! good food! fabulous music around the campfire 'til the sun starts coming up! wacky hijinks at the campground! Um. It's a lot of work, very exhausting, but so far very worth it.

The lineups for the main stage concerts have been announced. Groovy. On my birthday I'll be hearing Sarah Harmer, the Cowboy Junkies, and Crash Test Dummies live. Whee! Plus Sue Foley and Scruj MacDuhk (I'm too lazy to put the umlaut in there). I'm predisposed to like the latter band simply 'cuz of their name (even though I don't know much about them).

(How can it be the middle of June already? Where does the time go?)

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Friday, June 15, 2001

ebert on tomb raider

Since I quoted from Taylor's negative review, it's only fair to quote Roger Ebert's review (which was positive and also entertaining):

"Lara Croft Tomb Raider" elevates goofiness to an art form. Here is a movie so monumentally silly, yet so wondrous to look at, that only a churl could find fault.

And please don't tell me it makes no sense. The last thing I want to see is a sensible movie about how the Illuminati will reunite the halves of the severed triangle in order to control time in the ruins of the ancient city that once rose in the meteor crater--if, and it's a big "if," the clue of the All-Seeing Eye inside the hidden clock can be used at the moment of planetary alignment that comes every 5,000 years, and if the Tomb Raiders are not destroyed by the many-armed Vishnu figure and the stone monkeys. The logic is exhausting enough even when it doesn't make sense.

(Sounds like a movie I need to see . . . )

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

charles taylor on tomb raider

I love it when critics are funny when picking on movies. Charles Taylor didn't much like Tomb Raider:

The camera swings around and jerks hither and yon as if it had been mounted to Charo's hips instead of a tripod. And I'm sure that with the use of the paper shredder I received last Christmas I could learn to duplicate Dallas S. Puett and Glen Scantlebury's editing scheme. Let's just say that if spatial relationships are part of what you require to make sense of a movie -- you know, telling where the characters are in proximity to one another, something that tends to help when good guys and bad guys are squaring off -- then maybe it's time to stay home and get started reading "The Count of Monte Cristo" as you've always meant to.

Heh! (or watch the movie version, for that matter).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

when cars attack

Does anyone else remember a special that aired on ABC in 1998 called When Cars Attack? It was hosted by Richard Belzer and it was hilarious. I really want to get a tape of it to see if it's as funny as I remembered it. Also to prove to people that I'm not making it up.

Actually, a quick search found this review of the show. Oh good, nice to know I didn't imagine the whole thing.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Thursday, June 14, 2001


Minor design changes (very minor) in progress over at TVpicks.net.

Also updated the About TVpicks.net page.

And I've created some banner images for folks to use to link to tvpicks.net and for windowseat.org (in general or this weblog, specifically). Download 'em (doing a "save as . . . ") and use them if you want. Don't point to them on my server, blah blah blah, you know the drill (and if you don't, email me and i'll explain).

this one is 175 pixels across, 24 pixels high:
tvpicks.net - Laurel's TV Picks

this one is 88 pixels across and 31 pixels high:

and this one is 100 pixels across and 32 pixels high:

here's the windowseat one that's 88 pixels across, 31 pixels high:

this one is 175 pixels across, 24 pixels high:

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Wednesday, June 13, 2001

100 disappointing specials

I watched the last two hours of AFI's 100 Years . . . 100 Thrills special last night. Which turned out to be about "heart pounding movies." Um, okay.

Here's the website and the list.

The special disappointed me. Sure, they had some interesting people making remarks (Steven Spielberg, John Williams, Stan Winston), but they also had other action film stars talking about films they weren't in and, quite frankly, I couldn't care.

And the clips they picked? Eek. They seemed to have intentionally picked some very gross or scary scenes. And scenes with big honkin' spoilers. Not that they should be avoiding spoilers for movies that have been out for twenty years or even two years, but still. It irked me. 'Cuz I'm sure some people watching haven't seen all the movies on the list and isn't part of the point to get people interested in seeing some of these? And if they're interested, aren't they gonna be a little miffed by the spoilers or that they've already seen a clip of the most heart-pounding scene?

And then there's the fact that the list doesn't quite make sense. It made more sense to me when I heard the "heart pounding" line. I'd thought it was a list of best action movies, but it's a list that encompasses thrillers and action and horror and is, in some respects, all over the map.

I can't get too worked up (no, really) because I don't care all that much. Not as much as I did over the best comedy list, for instance. Or best american films list.

Maybe I just have a problem with any list where Titanic is ahead of Star Wars and The Maltese Falcon and Notorious and Casablanca and on and on . . . Heck, it's ahead of Die Hard, that's just ridiculous.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Tuesday, June 12, 2001

trains of thought

Train of Thought is local sf fan Michael Lee's weblog, which is now among my regular reads.

Also: Teresa Nielsen Hayden has started a weblog called Making Light.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

calendar updated

Probably only of interest to those who live in Minnesota (or who'll be visiting shortly): but my calendar is updated for June. Will get to work on July one of these days, too.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Monday, June 11, 2001

being a grown up

I'm preoccupied with age at the moment. Doing the mental countdown to the big 3-0. And being amazed at how I still feel much as I did at 23 or thereabouts. Though if I'm honest, I realize that I'm doing a lot better than I was then. Still: I'm a kid.

But there are good things about being a grown up, I sometimes forget the freedoms I have, if that makes sense. My friend Martin played this song at a party I was at this past weekend, which sums it up nicely. The song is by Lou & Peter Berryman, who are funny enough that I've heard lots of people cover all sorts of their songs over the years.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Friday, June 8, 2001

a few of my favorite things

We're not talking raindrops on roses (though those can be pretty, I guess).

But I've started a new section of this website called "Laurel's Favorite Things" which is where I'll list my favorite books, DVDs, albums, and such stuff. Yes, I like recommending stuff.

I've just begun the list, but I figured I'd put it out there as it is, incomplete, so as not to overwhelm y'all with a huge list. And I also thought that if I get some good feedback on this bit, it might encourage me to do more. It's hard to know when I have these ideas if they're gonna be of interest to anyone but me. (So if you like it and want to see more of it, let me know).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

scared of shrek

I haven't seen Shrek yet. This despite the fact that lots of people I know have seen it and liked it and recommended it to me. Despite the fact that there are fairy tale elements at work in it and despite the fact that Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot co-wrote the screenplay with a couple other people.

Why haven't I seen it? The animation in the trailer creeped me out.

Stephanie Zacharek's review at salon.com seems to most clearly describe the feeling I got just from watching the trailer:

The hyperrealism of computer animation begs another question: If your goal is to make things look as realistic as possible, why bother with animation at all? One of the great pleasures of animation is the way it distills movement and color and sound into their simplest outlines; at its best, it gives us as much information as we need and no more. Our minds are left free to connect the dots, to fill in the minute spaces between the lines.

"Shrek," on the other hand, gives us too much. And yet with so many tools at their disposal, and with so much skill at their command, the animators of "Shrek" haven't graced us with anything particularly memorable. Walt Disney with his early shorts of singing and dancing bunnies or skeletons; Tim Burton with his Jack Skellington and Sally in "The Nightmare Before Christmas"; Nick Park with his man-and-dog team in "Wallace and Gromit" and his prisoner-fowl in "Chicken Run"; Chuck Jones with just about anything -- there's a long and varied list of individuals who have imbued cartoon characters with bottomless expressiveness without the help of anything as sophisticated as DreamWorks' Express-o-matic (or whatever it's called). Why do we need it now?

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

moulin rouge reviews

Wanna see what critics are saying about Moulin Rouge? Check out the reviews at rotten tomatoes.

Boy is this a movie that's divided people.

I think a movie has got to be good if it's got some people walking out of it and others seeing it over and over and over again.

(Count me among those who loved it and yes, I plan to see it again).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Wednesday, June 6, 2001

drinking games

Summer's here and there's little to watch except reruns. Of course I think there's always something to watch. I tend to watch episodes of shows I missed the first time around. Or to revisit episodes of favorite series.

Want to make it more interesting? I suppose you could play a drinking game. Maybe have a friend or three over to watch a favorite show and play. And no, I'm not advocating you get drunk while watching TV. Drink water! Or whatever you like.

A spoiler-free Babylon 5 drinking game

Space Ghost Coast to Coast drinking game

Good Eats drinking game

Or you could just visit The Ultimate Drinking Game Home Page to look for your favorites.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

good eats

If you read my TV Picks, you know I'm a big fan of the TV show Good Eats. Love it. It's funny and interesting and flies right on by 'cuz it's so darn cool. And yeah, I learn a lot from it, too. (And I don't care for cooking shows. So why is one of my favorite shows a cooking show? Um, 'cuz it's not like other cooking shows? Something like that).

Anyway. This is a cool fan page for the show. Really cool. And, of course, there is an official page for the show, too, at the Food Network site.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

an exciting game

I was at Monday night's Twins game. We played Cleveland and we won 11-10 (with a run scored in the bottom of the ninth). Was one of the most exciting games I've ever been to, probably the most exciting since Game 7 of the '91 World Series.

Anyway, if you follow sports you may have seen highlights or heard about it. If you don't follow sports, you probably don't care beyond the "Laurel had a good time at a ballgame" angle.

Here's the game log and the box score.

More on the game:

ESPN recap

Dan Barreiro: Mopeds Beat Tanks

Star Tribune article

CNN-SI recap

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

gearing up

Just a day less than a month now 'til I turn 30. Eek. And also less than a month 'til the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Wow.

Cool: Michelle Shocked has been added to the festival lineup! Yay!

I've been dragging my camping gear out of storage and checking it over. And I've started checking out gear at stores and on websites because even though I'm pretty well set gear-wise, it's just fun to look at stuff (and to upgrade, of course). My first year at the festival, I made do with very little gear and very little money (and in fact borrowed most of my gear) and I had a great time. Last year I had more gear and still had a fine time. It's not about the gear. I just like to look at gear, methinks.

(yes, I'm trying to set a record for the number of times one can say "gear" in an entry).

I think I may need one of these Ice Caps (link via Martin McClure).

And our group is about to place a group order for Electroluminescent Wire. Yes, that's right. We've decided to stop buying the little glowy cylume necklace things and to replace them with EL Wire. We're such geeks. But it's gonna be cool. (I've got a four foot long wire in traditional baggiecon pink ordered, as well as a 7 foot wire in teal green). More EL wire.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

they call me LinkGirl

Well, Jim King called me "Link Girl" in an email.

I'm filling in for Jim again this week at the Homicide Links Site.

It's amazing to me how often Homicide is still mentioned in news articles and how busy the folks who worked on the series are. It makes sense, really, and it's cool. I'm not complaining!

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Tuesday, June 5, 2001

cool EW article about samuel r delany

I never would've imagined I'd type the above sentence.

But imagine my delight today when I was reading this week's Entertainment Weekly and I found a full page article (with a nifty big picture) about Samuel R. Delany and the rerelease of Dhalgren and some of his other books.

And here's an interview with Delany about the rerelease.

And here's the new trade paperback of Dhalgren with foreward by William Gibson.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Monday, June 4, 2001

moulin rouge

I think I loved Moulin Rouge. I say "think" only because I'm still processing it, after seeing it yesterday afternoon.

It's about Truth. Beauty. Freedom. But most of all, it's about Love.

It's unlike anything else. There are some astonishingly beautiful moments in it.

My recommendation? Go with an open mind. Give it a chance.

(And don't let the single "Lady Marmalade" and that video convince you not to see it).

Of course it probably doesn't surprise anyone that I liked it. It's made for romantics who enjoy pop music, after all.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

now *that* is an auction.

Swords and daggers and scrolls and boots, oh-my. Winged helmets. Fertility amulets. Wedding dresses. A giant's axe. A crossbow. The Golden Apples. Odin's sword. Athena's sword. Lucifer's singed outfit. Cupid's bow and arrows. The clothes off Caesar's back. A broken chakram.

Yes, it's an auction of props from Xena, Warrior Princess.

The outfit Xena wore when impersonating Cleopatra. Gabrielle's sai. Joxer's armor. Autolycus costume. Callisto's costume. Aphrodite's costume. Ares' costume. Xena's armor. And so on . . .

Lots of cool stuff. Proceeds go to charity. More items being added all the time.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

thank you!

So yesterday was a pretty bad day, today's been even worse.

And then a little bit ago I had a package delivered. An unexpected package from amazon.com.

The package contained The Stone Canal by Ken MacLeod. Nifty! Cool!

Nope, I didn't order it, but it's on my wishlist. There was no indication in the package that it was a gift or who it was from. This could've been an oversight or whoever bought it for me wanted to remain safely anonymous.

So to whoever did that: You rock. You are too kind. And it brought a smile to my face on a particularly gloomy day. Which means a lot. Thanks!

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

Friday, June 1, 2001


tornados heading toward the west end of lake minnetonka (a funnel is in the air, about to drop) which is where my parents live (and my Mom is out there, currently).

And big storm heading right toward my workplace. Very dark. large hail predicted and maybe tornadoes.

(lots of funnels have been spotted)

update: I survived. My Mom survived. She grumbled about her soaps getting interrupted by weather coverage, but acknowledged that for once the weather was severe enough that interruptions were warranted. We got rain, we got hail, we got wind, but it seems the worst is over.

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

happy birthday, norma jean

If Marilyn Monroe were still alive, she'd be turning 75 today.

Some quotes that have been attributed to her:

"No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they aren't."

"[Hollywood is] a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul."

"That's the trouble, a sex symbol becomes a thing. But if I'm going to be a symbol of something, I'd rather have it sex than some other things we've got symbols of."

"I want to grow old without facelifts. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I have made."

(I wish she'd had the chance).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *


Electrolite is Patrick Nielsen Hayden's weblog. Interesting stuff, cool quotations.

(thanks to Felix for the link).

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

* * *

content is king

For all the time I spend puttering around with new color schemes and layouts for various portions of this site, I realize that I don't actually cruise around the net to look at funky design.

Sure, I admire great design when I see it. And I aspire to better and better design myself.

But when it comes down to it . . . I just want sites that are easy to navigate and easy to read and which have *great* content. People who have cool things to say don't need fancy schmancy designs. Sometimes wacky color schemes and funky designs and other bells and whistles just get in the way.

(Some cool sites with simple design? Montykins and GirlHacker. YAWL. Or a couple of classics that inspired me to create a weblog in the first place: Robot Wisdom and Honeyguide. They all keep it simple on the design side, yet are really great sites because the content is so good. And they're easy to read and navigate).

Sometimes I think I'm wasting time fretting about color schemes when I could be writing things. (But then, I enjoy puttering around with color schemes, I guess. Or why else would I do it?)

posted by Laurel Krahn | link | comment ()

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