Posted by: hannah jo | October 10, 2008

Keeping hysteria at bay

love those Mad Men clothes

I don’t know if it’s maturity or naivety that’s keeping me from freaking out about the financial collapse that’s happening right now all around us, but perhaps it’s just that I’ve been plenty distracted by lots of other, oh let’s just call them, events. (Remember my rule about not blabbing about work events that might get me fired? Totally following it right now.)

Here are some non-work diversions that I’ve been enjoying lately, in no particular order:

The Hold Steady — Stay Positive

My friend Rod said he’s most often seen The Hold Steady described as a cross between Husker Du and Bruce Springsteen, and I think that’s a perfect description. As a huge fan of both (I can’t recall how many times I saw Husker Du perform live back in the day, but I’d say it was at least five), it makes sense that I would also dig The Hold Steady. I just picked up Stay Positive at the library the other day and I can honestly say that I haven’t been this impressed by a new CD in a long time. I put it on in my car and was instantly blown away by the lyrics and the lead singer’s wails. Consider me hooked.

Beth Ann Fennelly — Unmentionables

I learned about this book of poetry on Sherman Alexie’s web site. He mentioned that he read a review of it in Paste Magazineand then found it was a good book to reach for when he needed inspiration while writing. So, I put it on hold at the library and figured I’d give it a try. Oh my goodness. A couple of the poems are stunning. One, in particular, I’ve probably read two-dozen times and it still amazes me. I’ve searched online for a copy of the poem to link to, but with no luck. As a librarian, you’d think I’d know whether I can type one of her poems here, legally, but I don’t. I’ll try to find out and get back to you either way.

The David Bowie Concentration Game

Really. Try it. It’s fun!

Barack O’Lanterns

You can download one of these stencils and create your own Barack O’Lantern! (Discovered this by reading the comments section of the web site.)

Obsessing Over My Voter Registration

I love these online tools you can use to make sure that you are truly registered to vote. Don’t leave anything to chance this time! This one lets you check your King County registration and find out where your polling place is, in addition to showing you exactly which candidates and measures will appear on your ballot. The state version lets you see which elections you’ve voted in previously.

Lost Forest After Dark

I have no idea who this guy is or how I originally found his blog. I love it, though. He seems like a good guy, probably around my age, who still loves music, baseball, and politics.

Mad Men Season 1 on DVD

We checked this out from the library and made it through the entire season by the due date, without racking up any fines (a rarity for us!). At first, we weren’t sure it lived up to all the hype, but by the end we were completely addicted. Just watching it for the clothes would be enough to justify the time spent glued to the couch and television. And all the drinking and smoking! What dedication they had. It’s like all the old photos of my parents when they were first married.

Lily, the craft queen

As I’ve often said, I was born without the crafty gene. I can’t do anything that even remotely qualifies as crafty. My daughter, though, holy cow. She is a craft-making machine. Every day. Lately, her obsessions have been crocheting and knitting (thanks to Bobbi for helping her with that), candle making (thanks to Andy for helping her with that), soap making, kite making, and lanyard making. And that’s just the past few days.

What are your current diversions?



  1. I have you to thank for one of my most recent diversions: on your suggestion I watched In Bruges to other night. I liked it a lot. Colin Farrell seems like such a twerp in real life but I usually like him in his movies. I also liked Ralph Fiennes perfomance but it was Branden Gleeson (although I’ll admit that I watched the entire film thinking it was Ray Winstone) that made the movie for me. There were a couple of times during that film that I laughed out loud and grabbed the remote for a replay (see ‘surprise karate chop to coked out racist dwarf’ scene).

    Thanks for the tip!

  2. Funny, I was thinking just recently that Obama should have changed his name to Rocky O’bama….

    Pretty much everything is a diversion for me; from the third eye on my forehead which some might recognize as a zit, to my current read, Fool on the Hill, Matt Ruff’s debut book from way-back, to helping Joe with a big flooring project in our bedroom/bathroom.

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