Thursday, June 30, 2005

Fabulous Forgery

Last week I read The Poet and the Murderer: A True Story of Literary Crime and the Art of Forgery by Simon Worrall. This true crime book tells the story of Mark Hoffmann, a rare books and manuscripts dealer who also happened to be a master forger, and who sold hundreds of forged, and often embarrassing, documents to the Mormon Church (of which he was a member). He also created scores of non-Mormon forgeries, including a "previously undiscovered" poem by Emily Dickensen, around which the book revolves. Eventually Hoffman commits murder to cover up his crimes, and ends up accidentally injuring himself with a car bomb and going to jail. This book occassionally falls into the pop psychology that one often finds in true crime books, but the subject matter is so fascinating that it is easily forgiven. In addition to the specifics of Hoffman's case, Worrell delves into the strange history of Mormonism, the history and techniques of forgery, Emily Dickenson, and the potential for misdeeds in the world of professional auction houses. The amount of work that goes into Hoffman's forgeries is amazing -- and although as an archivist I'm not so big on the forging, I still have to admire the skill and detail involved.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

And sometimes my job is great....

I ran across this book in my archival work this afternoon -- just gaze upon its wonder:

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and the back cover:

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It's a book from the early 1940s, designed for young boys who are interested in airplanes and engineering. And it's awesome. My favorite part is the A, B, C fingers. Now, that's the way to learn about aero-engine theory.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Wizard of Bras

Did you know that when Disneyland first opened, there was a Hollywood Maxwell Intimate Apparal store on Main Street called The Wizard of Bras. It was sadly short-lived and closed in 1956.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Movie Madness

While Josh was out of town last week, I helped myself to some videos from the extensive Krauter collection. Since Josh wasn't there to watch them with me, I'll have to report on them here instead of relying on Movie-Watching Robot to do it for me.

First I watched Lindsay Anderson's Britannia Hospital, which was pretty heavy on the political satire, but still very funny. Plus it has Malcolm McDowell, an awesome scene where a guys head comes off and blood spurts everywhere, and Mark Hamill getting high in a news van.

Then I jumped to National Lampoon's Vacation, which is one of the few tapes that is mine and not Josh's, and which I haven't seen since I was a kid. It was awesome. Somehow I had remembered almost half the movie being John Candy and Wally World, when its really only the last five minutes. And I forgot that you see Beverly D'Angelo's boobs, but not Christie Brinkley's. It seemed that we saw them both (all four of them?) in my kid memory. Also, did you realized that John Hughes wrote the screenplay? Altogether excellent.

It is always special when movies I loved as a kid are still actually good when I see them as an adult because, honestly, all the goodness they usually retain is only in nostalgia value.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Fridge Update - Now with Magnets!

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Josh brought this Cheap Trick magnet into the relationship with him, and I've loved him ever since. This magnet not only looks cool, it is also the strongest magnet on our fridge and usually gets the job of holding up the Alamo Drafthouse schedule. Can anyone here read Japanese? What does it say at the bottom of the magnet? I would love it if it said something more exciting than "Cheap Trick" or "Budokan." If you can't read Japanese, make something up.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Cheesy Macs

I have just discovered that HEB brand shells and cheese is way better than the more expensive Velveeta Shells and Cheese. Seriously. Or maybe I'm just really hungry.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Still tired

An unflattering portrait of me. At 6:30 a.m. Having forgot to set my alarm, I woke up ten minutes before I had to be out the door to catch the bus, and I still caught it.

In the time between 6:03 am (when I woke up) and 6:13 am (when I was out the door), I managed to:

1. Wash my face.
2. Brush my teeth.
3. Put on this weird dress that I don't even like.
4. Make a cup of black tea.
5. Put together a lunch (which I usually do the night before, but just like the alarm, I forgot). I had a frozen Rice/Veggie/Edamame thing, a plum and some pretzels.
6. Sort of brush my hair (but not really, as you can tell from the picture).
7. Eat a banana.

After catching my bus and starting the hike up to my building, I remembered that I brought my camera in my bag today and sleepily decided to take a crappy picture of myself and some random pictures on the walk. Most of these were taken by just pressing the "go" button on the camera while it was hanging in my hand as I walked (hence the blurs and strange angles). About half of the pictures ended up being of my dress or the ground, but some of them turned out nicely.

All I've got...

Is a mosquito bite in my knee-pit. It's very distracting.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Yip Yow

Oh lordy, my DSL subscription was activated today and I just hooked everything up this afternoon. Yowza. This is the first time I've had anything but dial-up on my home computer, and I've just been giddy with web surfing ever since.

So far I've checked all the blogs and pages I usually check (they load so fast), listened to some music, watched a bunch of toons and teen girl squad episodes on Homestar Runner, downloaded the updates to all my computer programs (which usually takes for freakin ever), and started my own Flickr page (which mostly has pictures from our walk in the Mayfield Preserve from a few months ago). These are all things that I previously could not do, or could only do at work, which is lame.

Now I can do whatever I want! I am invincible!

It is not a spam, it is a love

I don't usually even smirk at my spam anymore -- any humor that may have been gleaned from the misspellings, sexy claims, or outrageous subject lines has been lost in the flood of email that comes through my computer.

Then I recieved this.

I was going to just pull out a few select highlights, but honestly, the best way to share it with you is to just show you the whole thing. It will make you see smoking in a whole new way.



(Note: It is not a spam, it is a love, we assist BGFG propagate information of love, BGFG don't know herself, please TO SAVE OUR 1000,000,000 BROTHERS AND SISTERS, GIVE LOVE TO THEM, to create   21-CENTURY NEW MAINSTAY PEOPLE-SERVE INDUSTRY, is a sort of charity.

Dear Sir:
Cigarettes harm 1000,000,000 peoples' health, so cigarette's revolution, new invention man-made non-toxic cigarette (abstract see appendix 1) rescues millions life of human being, is a very significant enterprise of world people. Man-made nontoxic cigarette is no tar, no toxic gas and vapor, no nicotine  cigarette (in a short transitional period keep down nicotine). Because its taste betterthan toxic cigarette, it can wholly replace toxic cigarette market, save or relieve our smoking brother and sister.

BUT THE ABILITY OF THE INVENTOR of this item (i.e. our corporation) compare with such great enterprise IS VERY INSUFFICIENCY, need the beautiful peoples of all world dedicate LOVE,   assist and support us.

The smoking people is also our brother and sister. Let us stretch our assistant hands, and offer zealous LOVE  hearts. GIVE LOVE TO 1 MILLIARD CIGARETTE-PEOPLE. WHEN YOU HAVE READ THIS LETTER, PLEASE  YOU:

1.         (IF YOU ARE POOR MAN, HOW TO GIVE LOVE TO 1000 MILLION PEOPLE) Please you copy  this letter and transmit to 10 (or above 10) your friends and relations.

2. (IF YOU NOT A POOR MAN, AND IF YOU ARE A BIG CORPORATION OR OTHER ENTERPRISE) Please you invest this new mainstay industry, (can't invest, please YOU assist or support us purely, even less than US$ 10), to speedup this significant item's development. Our address and bank account see the end of APPNDIX 2.

 (The toxicity of cigarette is too severe, the  market of cigarette (about US$ 100,000millions) must 100% CONVERT from one side(toxic) to other side (nontoxic) quickly. Therefore need very large investment, hope your assistance. The market very large, so the investors not only have saved brother and sister, also God rewards themselves great chances for their benevolence.

3. IF YOU ARE NEWSPAPER, TV, IT ENTERPRISE, PLEASE PROPAGATE FOR IT FREE OF CHARGE TO THE INVESTOR AND FAR-SIGHT ENTERPRISER, AND OTHER PEOPLE, if you can't believe it is a real fact, please attend conference of cigarette revolution (SEE

Appendix 1: Abstract
Smoking is a kind of enjoyment, but its harm is very severe, so call for to abstain from smoking. BUT 21 century is a society of high-class civilization, also a society of high-class enjoyment. The five significant enjoyments of human being: Eyes enjoyments (TV, video); Ears enjoyments (music); mouth enjoyments (delicious food); Respiratory tract enjoyments (cigarette); Body enjoyments (car, lodging). To prohibit smoking make a backward of history (of enjoyment), is not a best stratagem. But tobacco's toxicity is very inflexible, can't be clean out. It must operate on the foundation of cigarette industry. The series items of non-toxic cigarette radically change the concept of cigarette industry, and the difficult nontoxic problem, that can't be resolved heretofore, be resolved.

The new nontoxic  technique contains a series of techniques:

The enjoyment of smoking isn't coming from the cigarette itself, is coming from the fog that emanate by burning cigarette to stimulate respiratory track. Electronic smoking apparatus emanates fog by man-made electronic method, to make nontoxic when smoke. But smoking with apparatus is not concert with smoker's habit, the second patent develop a nontoxic cigarette, similar to common cigarette.

Third patent is manmade low-toxic or nontoxic cigarette essence, manmade essence contains all effective, flavourous and sapid substance of natural tobacco, wipesoff all impurities and useless flotsam, has no tar, no toxic gas and vapor, no nicotine. It holds original taste of tobacco, but for it wipes off the bad taste emanating by burning impurities and flotsam, (and also by other useful technique), it has a strongpoint, i.e. its taste better than toxic cigarette, sometimes ascendant than high class toxic cigarette some degree. So it can 100% replaces old toxic cigarette and guarantees the health of smoker-people. Form a cigarette revolution. Nicotine's toxicity is lower than the other two toxic components (tar, toxic gas and vapor) of cigarette. In a not long transition period nicotine is not wiped off wholly for a while, to assure the cigarette revolution smooth and steady, and nobody break the ranks. The revolution of cigarette will complete every inch. (details please attend nontoxic cigarette learned conference. BGFG (Beijing Greensparkling Fragrant Grass high science Corporation)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Senor Mysterioso

Did you ever read The Westing Game when you were a kid? Because I did. About thirty times. And now I have read it again.

The verdict?

Still awesome.

Even though I had read this a bunch of times before, I couldn't remember the answer to the mystery (although a few things came back to me as I read). I was way too excited by the characters to spend my time piecing together clues to solve the mystery before the book ended, though, so I was happily surprised when everything fell together at the end.

Totally go read this book -- it will only take you a day or so, and it is thoroughly enjoyable.

[And if you have read it, check out this cute little site about the book and the characters, with games!]

Monday, June 20, 2005

Another Awesome Name from the Archives

Manfred Wolff


I love that it is Wolff with two F's. That is extra wolfy...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Fridge Stuff: Drunken Moby Edition

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This picture of Moby, giving a thumbs up to readers while wearing sunglasses, stubble, a fake moustache, and a piano scarf was on the cover of Keyboard Magazine a few years ago, when I was inexplicably receiving a subscription even though I don't play keyboards and don't know anything about them. What was going on here, Moby? Whatever the intentions, the result is comedy gold.

[P.S. Josh voted, not Moby.]

Friday, June 17, 2005

Weekend Update

I most likely don't actually have the wherewithall (or the pop culture memorabilia) to attend this event, but it could be entertaining:

The Discovery Channel's Pop Nation: America's Coolest Stuff is filming at the Austin Convention Center. I don't have cable, so I've never seen it, but it sounds like Antiques Roadshow (which I love) for hipster-types, with the added pressure of someone there who will actually buy your treasures at the value quoted by the experts.

I am a band name nerd...

Another band name from the world of math:

Forcing with Respect

That's with repect, ya'll....


And as a bonus, the strangest name I've seen all day:

Babette Lucie Elisabeth van Antwerpen-de Fluiter

Ta da!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

She can't say no... with sexy results!

A few days ago I finished reading Bombshell by G. G. Fickling (a pseudonym for the husband and wife team that wrote this and the rest of the books in the Honey West series). This is one that I bought at the Literacy Austin book sale a couple of weekends ago. Since the whole reason I bought it was for the cover, here it is:

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How could you not want to read this book? Its got naked ladies with guns, Nazis, the threat of nuclear war, a guy named Johnny Doom (he changed it from Dombella because kids at school used to call him Johnny Dumbell), Hitler, and all kinds of action and adventure. Plus Honey West (our hero) is constantly having her shirt ripped off by redneck sheriffs, Nazis, and (with her permission) Johnny Doom.

Although the writing style is a little silly and overblown, this is actually a pretty clever, if improbable, adventure story. Apparantly the Honey West books were so popular in their day, they were made into a TV series. My favorite picture from that site is Honey West with her lipstick microphone. Nothing fights crime better than a tiger print leotard with fur trim and fishnet tights.

My next job

Its got to be here.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Got anything else I can read relating to devils or details?

This weekend I finished reading Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood by Jennifer Traig, which was kindly loaned to me by A. after I bought and read the wrong book (even though it did have both Devil and Details in the title.)

The book is a memoir about the author's girlhood bouts with OCD, primarily surfacing as scrupulosity, a form of OCD where the obsessions and compulsions revolve around religious practices. In Traig's case, the child of a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, she chose Judaism, which has all kinds of crazy rules to follow. And, since she grew up in a town without any other Jewish people around, and no real religious education, she does a lot of improvising with the rules she decides to follow.

Everything is played for laughs and the quirky-factor -- even the dark parts of the book aren't treated very darkly. Although it was occasionally a little bit McSweeney's-y (Traig is a regular contributor), it wasn't all super-ironic and winky like those folk can sometimes be. The book is funny, engaging, and a light, quick read. I have to admit, I wasn't quite as interested in the times in the book when the OCD subsides and Traig discussed her normal teenage girl neuroses. Those are fine and all, but the crazies are much more entertaining.

I'm beered up and angsty, so get me some tikka masala, dagnabitt

The latest entries to the esteemed Oxford English Dictionary:

I find it interesting that dickwad and dickweed entered the dictionary at the same time....

Saturday, June 11, 2005

What the world needs now, is to know what's on my fridge

Everyone loves postcards from Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska -- especially if they were sent to you from some road-tripping friends who stopped there on your recommendation. After this they drove down to Josh's hometown of Bridgeport (which is maybe half an hour away? Correct me if I'm wrong there...), and took pictures of the grocery store where Josh worked and other landmarks of the town. Deirdre and Ricardo, I salute you!Posted by Hello

[And, in case you were wondering, Carhenge is totally worth a trip out of your way to see. There are other sculptures out there as well, so you get your absolutely free admissions worth. Plus I guarantee there will be hardly any other tourists there to mess up your view.]

[Also, there are better pictures of Carhenge here than on the official Carhenge site, where there is instead a picture of a cluster balloonist who will apparantly be flying over Carhenge on the summer solstice...]

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Give a hoot

There were 30 or 40 of these anti-litter signs up in the lobby of this art center in Baton Rouge. I've selected the six most grand for your viewing pleasure. And now we shall have a contest -- which one of these makes you feel the least like litering? Are you most affected by Satan or Hitler? A sad Earth or a They Live reference? Your response to this contest will actually give me your psychological profile, so don't be surprised if I look at you a little differently after you answer...

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Something funny happened on the way to the math archives....

Someone bringing you down? No problem, just create a confusion matrix and you will be in the clear. Do not view the matrix yourself. It will only confuse you.


And, I love the picture on the bottom of this page. I will only pose in this position for all future pictures. Be forewarned.

Monday, June 06, 2005


I had to crank up my reading speed this weekend and finish the long, and pretty good but not totally awesome The Road to Wellville by T. Coraghessan Boyle, as I have a borrowed book to read as well as my giant pile of new books that I want to get started on.

This book was made into a movie with Anthony Hopkins, Bridget Fonda, Matthew Broderick and John Cusack, all of whom I like. I am pretty sure I saw it and also pretty sure it didn't leave that much of an impression on me. Kind of like the book.

This is a nice satire, but cold and distant (as satires often are). There isn't a character to really grab onto, although many of them do have their moments. The book has some funny bits, including a lot of exposing and inspecting of John Harvey Kellogg, inventor of peanut butter, corn flakes and granola; a vehement vegetarian who was totally against sex and really really into enemas.

I like the historical stuff in the book -- all the patent medicines and special diets that intrigued the rich around the turn of the century. And, if you have read the book or seen the movie (or really, even if you haven't), there is a wonderful page up on the Willard Library site with pictures from Kellogg's Battle Creek Sanitarium. No enema pictures, though.

So, this one is going into my pile of books to sell. The first step in my new plan to not keep books that I didn't really like and that I don't think I'll read again. And it's pretty thick -- I bet I could get three of my new pulpy novels into its space on the bookshelf...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Book it up, book nerds

Check out all my new books!Posted by Hello

Yesterday afternoon we went to El Mercado and had a few margaritas, and then went to the Literacy Austin Book Sale and bought a bunch of books. My margarita head really wanted to buy sci-fi and pulpy novels, as well as (apparantly) a copy of the Westing Game and Laura Palmer's Secret Diary. I only spent $20 bucks, though, and it went to a good cause, so I'm not having any book buying guilt. I am resolving, however, to weed out some of the books that I have. I don't think I'll sell anything I haven't read yet, but I am thinking of getting rid of things I've read that Josh doesn't want to read and that didn't blow me away. My problem, I just love books. Like the physical book itself. Even if the book was bad, I still want to keep it. And buy more. And I'm out of room, so some decisions will have to be made. Either that or I'll just kick Josh out of the bedroom and fill his half of the bed with books....

Saturday, June 04, 2005

It's Saturday! Fridge time!

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This one was sent to us by Josh's brother for his birthday last year. Any clipping that involves this dude has to be on prominent display. Particularly if the dude has two nicknames sandwiching his middle name. That's right "Boob," or shall I say, "Cous," you have made our fridge wall of fame.

Friday, June 03, 2005

I wanna think up rock n' roll band names all night...

after reading scientific article titles all day!

And now, it is my pleasure to present - the rockingist rock and roll band that ever rocked - here for your viewing pleasure --

Unramified Forcing!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Bathroom Fixture Update

I'm sure you have all been saying to yourselves: "Sure, Kristy had fun in Baton Rouge. I saw the pictures. They looked great. But what about the fixtures in the hotel bathroom?"

What about the fixtures indeed.

Since nearly one in four internet searches that land on my site come from someone trying to find information about institutional bathroom fixtures, I felt it was duty to report that I had the pleasure of using a TOTO Toilet and a Speakman Anystream 2000 shower head in my hotel room (the one I used is pictured at the right side of the screen at the top). Actually, the toilet wasn't that great -- it was somewhat loosely connected to the floor, and when I would sit down or stand up the whole thing would wobble a bit. You don't want wobbly toilets. That could have been the fault of the installation and not the TOTO brand, however. The showerhead, on the other hand, was wonderful. I usually am dissapointed with hotel showerheads, but this one was mounted high on the wall (good for us extra tall gals) and had a nice stream. Any stream in fact. And it was the 2000 model, so you know that's good...


And, in answer to Mary P.'s Best/Worst purchase poll, I made a bad purchase in Baton Rouge. While enjoying some drinks at the hotel bar with my friends, I was seduced away from my gin and tonic plan by this cute little drink menu. I decided to go for an old fashioned. I'd made one of these at home before, and it usually involves whiskey, sugar (or simple syrup), bitters, sour mix (or Squirt), and a cherry or other fruit garnish. The bartender at the hotel made ours with sweet and low. Ick. Do not put sweet and low in drinks, people. It was really awful. Of course, I drank the whole thing, but I didn't like it, and I think the sweet and low got me all riled up so I couldn't sleep that night. The only good thing is that the drink was pretty cheap for a hotel bar, only $4.50 or something like that. Traci can back me up on this -- a horrible old fashioned. The moral of the story is: only order simple drinks if you don't know how the dude is going to make them.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Come to me Rock Stars, I have found your band name

Assessment of Chromatic Wedge Concern

[from the archives, again]