Adventures with Dr. Lady Cutie Troublemaker

Life is in flux BIG TIME these days. I want to keep in touch with all of my peeps. The Internet is this beautiful thing. I can move to a brand new city and still stay in easy, near-daily contact with the people I love. When I feel connected to the people in my life that matter, I am unstoppable!

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes: Soundcheck to Gig

By Abby at 10:25 am on Saturday, July 17, 2010

This is not a brilliant blog post. I just wanted a little corner of the web to post all three videos in order. I got a chance to see soundcheck, since the lead singer of the band, Alex (not “Edward,” oddly) is my friend Holden’s cousin. I posted the videos to TwitVid, but they landed online some time in the middle of the night, and they landed out of order! The point is how fun it was to get a chance to see them do this song earlier in the evening and then again in the space for a full house. There were better things about both performances. I do apologize for the spastic filming in the first video. I was dancing around a little too much – all over the floor, which was ALL MINE! Bwahahaha!!!

Filed under: Music,Raleigh and the Triangle,Video3 Comments »

Fables is 25

By Abby at 9:15 pm on Tuesday, July 13, 2010

When R.E.M. first came out, there was some discussion about whether we were supposed to call them R.E.M. or /rem/ like it was just a word. I already knew the phrase “rapid eye movement” at that point in my life. An article I read early on said that their M stood for murmur though. So “rapid eye murmur,” so I thought it all made sense when their album “Murmur” came out, although for years since, noone has bothered to talk about the letters anymore. They got too famous for it to matter.

I grew up in Atlanta. I was around 12 when I first heard of R.E.M. because my friend Molly’s older sister was a college student at UGA in Athens. I remember Molly putting “Wolves, Lower” on the record player and thinking the whole world had changed. I was sitting on her top bunk at the time. It was the middle of the day – probably a weekend. Her room was cocoa brown. I remember thinking it was really radical when she picked that color out. What little girl picks out cocoa?! Molly and I had a falling out after an unfortunate incident which I’m sure my mother and Molly would prefer I not rehash. All water under the bridge, but sadly, it was not Molly who got to go see R.E.M. with me when they came to The Agora Ballroom (across from the Fabulous Fox in May 1983). The Agora has long since burned, but sentimental me still has the ticket stub:

R.E.M. at the Agora Ballroom, Atlanta, 1983

I went with my friend Heather. It was a great show. What I remember most was standing right up against the stage with my head up under the curtain before the gig started and waving down “the lead singer” and handing him a little note written on the back of a Psycho 3 ad that said I was really proud they were from Georgia because I thought they were so good. He was really shy then. He was a shy performer, too, and he spent a lot of time dancing with his back to the audience. I also remember this woman with really bleached out hair and her Asian boyfriend who was much shorter and wearing fatigues (for fashion) making out like THE WHOLE TIME and being kinda shocked by that. I was riveted by the show. It made such an impression on me.

OK, so flash forward a few years. In the interim, went and saw R.E.M. every time they came to town, and when they started getting too big for the Fabulous Fox, they resisted moving up to The Omni, and they’d play 5 nights at the Fox, and I’d save up and go every night. I was a superfan. I don’t have every stub, but here are a bunch: R.E.M. gig tickets

Fables of the Reconstruction of the Fables…

When it was first released, just as there was some confusion about how to say R.E.M., there was some intention vagueness about the name of the album. With time, it definitely became known more as Fables of the Reconstruction, but in the beginning, it was unclear. Just did a little research, and found this in the Wikipedia article:

On the vinyl release [which is all we had back then!], side one was labeled the “A side” and side two “Another side.” The “A side” label bore the title, Fables of the Reconstruction, while “Another side” bore the title, Reconstruction of the Fables.

Here’s what I remember. I don’t know if this will be of use to anyone besides me, but I can’t get it out of my head. Fables came out in the summer, when my high school boyfriend was off at the Governor’s Honors Program in Valdosta. I was beside myself with sadness that he’d found a girl of interest there (we’d been together about a year and a half at this point). I was taking this stupid summer class because I was trying to do both the college prep curriculum and the performing arts curriculum. It was history, and it was at this snooty private school, which wasn’t my scene. I was staging a minor hunger strike about the whole other girl thing and was mostly living on Breton crackers, lime Perrier, and little hunks of mozzarella cheese (I was 15. Don’t judge!). Wimbledon was on. I thought Boris Becker was cute. That summer was kind of a stinker, but the one thing I remember lifting me up was Fables.


I was 15 then. I’m 40 now. I imagined I’d grow up and change a lot, but I’m still just me. I imagined that 40 year-old Abby would be quite different from 15 year-old Abby. I feel like there’s this complete linearity that I’m not sure is the experience everyone has. I think it isn’t. Anyway, I think I like it. And I know I still like Fables. The album is 25 years old. It’s been remastered. I don’t think there was anything wrong with it, but OK, I’ll take it. There are some outtakes that sound good on the Amazon samples. How can I not get it? 15 year-old Abby would be pleased, I think.


Filed under: Music,Stories From My Life6 Comments »

Odd iPhone4 Sounds

By Abby at 3:39 pm on Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sounds like this aren’t supposed to happen. Since I made this recording, I’ve heard more sounds like this happening during all kinds of functions: even just switching between apps. I closed all the apps sitting in the “multitasking” bar at the bottom, and it’s still happening.

If anyone is experiencing this or knows a fix, let me know. If it continues, might be worth a trip to the Genius Bar. I don’t like it, I tell you!

Filed under: Technerdliness2 Comments »

Some iPhone Apps I Like

By Abby at 12:23 am on Monday, June 28, 2010

I recently posted two lists on Twitter:

  1. iPhone Photo Apps I Like: CameraBag, Hipstamatic, QuadCamera, AutoStitch, TiltShift Generator, Cross Process, Best Camera, Incredibooth (iPhone4 only)
  2. Best ToDo Apps: Appigo, Zenbe, Nozbe, Google Tasks (part of Google Apps), Reqall (speak to text). Best = Toodledo < < syncs with everything

Here’s the rest. If I mention them, I like them. If you want to know more, find them in the App Store:

  • AppAdvice – For news and reviews about the best apps!
  • MoodAgent – Scans your music and creates playlists based on certain moods, tempos, etc. Hard to describe, but COOL!
  • Instapaper – OMG, so many kinds of awesome. Reformats articles from anywhere for easy reading on your iPhone.
  • Remote (for iTunes) – Control iTunes on your main computer from your iPhone.
  • Rowmote (for Hulu) – Control Hulu from across the room!
  • Reeder – The slickest RSS reader for iPhone I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot!)
  • Cleartune – Tune your guitar!
  • Shazam – Find out what’s playing right now (SoundHound is good, too.)
  • Kindle for iPhone – Read books you buy on Amazon on your iPhone. There’s iBooks, too, but I’m a long-time Kindle fan.
  • Recorder – Much better than the native recorder. Trust me.
  • AudioBoo – Record sound snippets and upload to Facebook or Twitter instantly.
  • AT&T MyWireless Mobile – Pay your bill right from your iPhone. Check your usage.
  • DailyBurn – Watch your weight if you watch calories. There’s a matching app for scanning food in using bar codes!
  • CarbsControl – Watch your weight if you’re a low-carb person.
  • Delivery Status Touch – Input packages you’re expecting and get notified when they will be arriving.
  • Charlie – A Flickr app you don’t hear much about. I hate the Flickr app for iPhone. I usually check Flickr using Safari for iPhone (the mobile site), but for uploading, this is nice. It’s not bad for checking, either.
  • CardStar – Instead of all those cards on your keychain, make them scan your iPhone instead. Yes, it works.
  • Evernote – If you use Evernote, the app is awesome.
  • foursquare – The more popular location check-in app.
  • Gowalla – The BETTER location check-in app (because the icons are like a MILLION times cuter, and when I get back from a trip, I like to see that set of icons!). Plus, you can “drop” random crap and pick things up, and how fun is that?!
  • Google Mobile App – Gmail, Reader, Google Earth, Google Voice Search, it’s all here.
  • Dropbox – If you use it, then you should be using the app. Access any of your files any time from anywhere and share them with anyone. Awesome!
  • GoodReader – Connects with Dropbox and any site where there are PDF’s to be found. Basically, you can download entire PDF’s and keep them stored on your phone. Then later, you can look at them, even if you have no service. Once you work out the ways it’s useful, there are a MILLION ways to use this.
  • Grocery Pal – I used to be a big fan of a different grocery app, but this one has a REALLY nice feature that trumps all the rest. It connects to the specials at my local Harris Teeter, so I can quickly see everything that is on sale there and add those things I want to the list without having to check the specials online in some other way. It’s VERY handy!
  • How to Cook Everything – The entirety of the How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman in an app. Very thorough, and there are timers built into the app!
  • Last.FM – Great site. Great for listening. You can check your gig calendar.
  • Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals – This app takes up a lot of space. It’s filled with video and beautiful photography, a grocery list maker, WONDERFUL recipes (I’ve made several), and it’s just a masterful thing to behold. Kind of the state of the art when it comes to apps. Totally worth it’s slightly higher cost.
  • Movies by Flixster – I’ve always found Flixter to be evil, but this app won me over because of its integration with Rotten Tomatoes. Also, I can keep a list of movies I want to see.
  • Period Tracker – If you’re a woman and for any reason, you want to track your menstrual symptoms (moods, cycle, physical symptoms), this is a really impressive app. You are even reminded to backup your data, which is easily done by clicking a button. You end up with a text file you can print and bring along with you to the doctor’s office.
  • Skype – Got people you need to talk to in other countries? Get Skype. Spoke to a friend who was in China once while I was sitting underground at Foundation bar. Have you been in there? It’s all stone. We had WiFi only. It’s like THE FUTURE!
  • Trip Journal – This didn’t work at all on my 3G because my GPS was borked, but it’s a REALLY nifty little app to track where you’ve been with pictures and little notes, and you end up with cute little maps. It’s fun if you’re traveling.
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Some Facebook Tweaking

By Abby at 1:46 pm on Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I just did some things on Facebook because of their recent fall from grace with regards to respect for privacy:

  • Went to my Profile page
  • Under Friends on the left, I right-clicked on the number of friends I have, and opened that in a new tab
  • In the new tab on the left under Lists, I can see Pages with a little yellow flag. Clicking on that shows me an interesting list: (1) Everything that used to just be a narrative of interests in my profile, but was recently changed to clickable links that I “Like” a few weeks ago, including movies, musical artists, etc. So since I’ve done that, bands I “like” who have pages have started popping up in my stream – This morning, Regina Spektor posted a cute picture of herself in Tokyo. While this was a cute picture that I enjoyed seeing, I want control over what content like this I see. (2) Everything I’ve clicked a “Like” button for during the past few weeks. I think “Like” or “Pages” are the new “Groups” … or something like that.
  • I want to choose who markets at me and who doesn’t.
  • I’ve now added all these “Pages” to a personal list of mine – also called Pages. I’m going to change the permissions on this list so that those Pages cannot see any of my information. I mean, there could be a million other people who like, say, the movie 500 Days of Summer. For all I know, Facebook is making it possible for anyone in that group to click over to me from there. I am assuming they aren’t, but JUST IN CASE, I’m taking some precautions.
  • In some rash moments, I’ve “Liked” some things like “I don’t feel like folding my laundry so I just restart the dryer.” I can probably just leave that Page and feel all the better for it.

I get a lot out of Facebook. I am not ready to leave. I am MIGHTILY annoyed by them for making me work so very hard to keep my privacy, but I’m not ready to bolt – not even close, because of the good I get from it. I’m loyal to a fault sometimes, but I feel like they will eventually get this thing straightened out to a level I can deal with.

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