Saturday, September 05, 2009

Good-bye for now

At one point in my life, I kept up three blogs. "And So Forth" was my catch-all blog, where I wrote about politics, music and whatever else suited my fancy.

I would love to have the time to do that now, but I just don't. So for the moment, my blogging output is going to be limited to my main blog: La France Profonde.

I hope to see you there.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The future of the press: magazines

I can't quite read the date on this Business Week cover, but I wonder how much the editors were thinking about themselves when they put it to press.

"Blogs will change your business...catch up...or catch you later."

Well, blogs have certainly changed the paper press business, and I have already blogged about the sad, progressive demise of the American newspaper.

Of course, magazines are facing some of the same problems, although they may have a little more going for them: they aren't dailies, they're easier to handle on planes and beaches, and they have a more attractive allure than those somewhat grubby newspapers.

A lot of people really love their glossies: they like showing them off on their coffee table, they appreciate the feel of them, they enjoy browsing the magazine section of stores and maybe making a few impulse buys.

But despite what they have going for them, magazines are facing the same difficulties as newspapers: declining advertising revenue, sinking readership, and the overall problem of "if I can read everything online, why buy a magazine?"

A recent article in TechCrunch
tackles the issue of how business magazines can survive, and suggests a rather draconian, but perhaps necessary, new business model. I think the author's ideas give food for thought to all magazine companies, writers...and readers.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rock and roll: catch up or give up?

If you ever stop by this little-frequented blog, you will know that I am quite a music fan.

And I'm not closed-minded. I have the requisite eclectic tastes: jazz, classical, la chanson française...But I'm quite sure you know what I know: ROCK AND ROLL RULES.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, let me also tell you I used to be a fountain of rock knowledge. I could tell you the original names of a ton o' groups, knew which albums were coming out when, and was the type of person who could hold my own in A-side vs. B-side debates. Of course that was about 25 years ago, but I like to think it counts for something.

But it doesn't count for being "up on things." So, a year or so back, I decided the Internet would be my route to Catching Up With Rock and Roll Since 1990. I mean between Deezer, Allmusic, and unlimited access to cool people's playlists, how hard could it be?

Unfortunately, it's proving to be very hard indeed. Sure, I write down group names, log in dutifully to Deezer planning on checking them out, and end up listening to my splendid Jackson Browne playlist, or doing a little more research on the many cover versions of "Hallelujah," even though I know Jeff Buckley's is the best.

As for Allmusic, it's a great place; I'm always going there to refresh my memory on burning and oh-so-current questions like "Did Highway 61 Revisited come out before or after Bringing It All Back Home?"

Don't get me wrong. I'm not totally ignorant. I can wail "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with the best of them -- oops, that's not really new anymore, is it? It's, like, from the last century? Oh well.

A few groups do keep coming back on my "must listen to" lists: The White Stripes, The Hives, The Strokes. I know they're out there! But I have come to realize that I will never listen to these groups if someone doesn't just stick a CD into my hand. And that never happens to people my age, right?

Yes, it does! I was at a school Christmas party this year, and one of my students came up to me and handed me a White Stripes playlist he had put on a CD. "I made this for you, I thought you might like it."

He was right. I liked it very much. Maybe I should "get into" this group.

But then again, there is so much music from 1960-1990 that I am ignorant of. And I've started to forget some of those "fun facts to know and tell," like the differences between UK and US releases of 60s albums. One can only keep up with so much.

So what's the best choice: to try to catch up, or just to give up?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Unconscious Mutterings 325

I really would like to get this blog moving with more frequent posts, but life is just too busy.

In the meantime, there's always Unconscious Mutterings 325:

  1. Lease :: on life

  2. Dead :: Grateful

  3. Removed :: Uplifted

  4. Broke :: Back

  5. Lips :: Flaming

  6. Flight :: 324

  7. Three hours :: That's all we've got

  8. Give :: and take

  9. Technical :: Whirl

  10. Hurry :: up, hurry up and wait

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Too late for April Fool's, but still funny

I'm sure many of you have seen this, but if you haven't -- don't miss it! Very clever:

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Saturday, April 04, 2009

If you're reading this at work, congratulate yourself!

Surreptitious employees who use Internet for personal reasons at work will be thrilled with new research suggesting that workers are actually more productive when allowed to surf the Web freely during office hours.

According to Dr. Brent Coker of the University of Melbourne, "People who do surf the Internet for fun at work - within a reasonable limit of less than 20% of their total time in the office - are more productive by about 9% than those who don’t."

These results intrigue me but don't really surprise me. And while I'm not going to read the entire study to examine if it establishes true causality, I wonder if some other factors don't come into play here.

First, perhaps the type of person likely to be Internet-savvy and "linked in" is, also, the type of person who would be more productive at work anyway. I tend to find that my friends who are "into" the Internet are also keen on activities like time management, list-making, and just general geeky organization. It seems to me that these are qualities that make for productive work .

Second, work-life borders blur quickly online -- in many cases, in the employers' favor. I am scrupulous about limiting any non-work related online time to official breaks and lunchtime, and yet have found myself in plenty of situations where something that comes across a personal inbox turns into productive work.

Take a concrete example. I decide to forego a session of coffee-break jabber and stay quietly in my office to check my personal email instead. Imagine there's not much there except a New York Times technology alert with some interesting articles about, say, adults' increasing use of Facebook.

Hey, wouldn't this be great material for one of my classes? Quick sure would...print...go to the copy machine to get my article...hmmm, which class should I use it for? Oh, and yeah, what break?

Finally, I am convinced the work-life blur goes both ways. The same wired staff members who take a few quick personal surfs at work probably do plenty of work-related Internet research and email-checking at home too, which also contributes to their productivity.

Funny how companies aren't investing in any filters to stop that...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Huge news for Kinks fans!

This just came across one of my Kinks newsletters, and I couldn't be more thrilled.

The Kinks have always had a greater, more faithful following in the USA than in the UK, so what better event to stage their long-awaited reunion than the Super Bowl!

"The Miami Sports Zone has reported that the 60's British Rock band, The Kinks will reunite for Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010, in Miami Florida. The Kinks will perform 5 songs during a 20 minute halftime set under the lights at Dolphin Stadium. Just as Bruce Springsteen the year before, The Kinks are expected to perform some of their own hits such as Lola, You Really Got Me and Tired of Waiting. This will be the first live performance of the group since both Ray and Dave Davies set out on their own solo careers over a decade ago. Ray and Dave Davies are both avid soccer fans, but understand the ritual of Super Bowl Sunday. Come Dancing with The Kinks, Super Bowl Sunday, 2010."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Five favorite song lyrics

This is another fun idea from Elisabeth, who got it going on Facebook. I posted a pared-down, lyrics-only version there, but thought I'd add a few explanations on this post.

I did this more or less off the top of my head, because anything definitive would take me, say, the rest of my life? So these are just lyrics that I think are particularly well done and that mean a lot to me.

I noticed that three ended up being about the theme of youth and age; none were love-angst lyrics: appropriate enough for where I'm at in my life.

1. Now that you've found your paradise
Is this your kingdom to command
You can go outside and polish your car
Or sit by the fire in your Shangri-la.

(Shangri-la, The Kinks)

The opening to one of The Kinks' most beautiful songs; I could have chosen other extracts from the same song, because there are so many touching passages. Also, it's not directly a "lyrics" issue, but Ray's pronunciation/accent on "command" makes me go to pieces.

2. Dirty old river, must you keep rolling
Flowing into the night
People so busy, make me feel dizzy
Taxi lights shine so bright

(Waterloo Sunset, The Kinks)

This one is more or less here by definition: it's the opening lines to my favorite song in the world. Maybe it is kind of a love song for me, because I thought I would never fall in love again, but then I went back to London a few years back and became enamored of the city.

3. Good and bad, I defined these terms
So clear, no doubt somehow
But I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now.

(My Back Pages, Bob Dylan)

It always amazes me how young Dylan was when he wrote this sort of thing.

4. And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their world
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware what they're going through.

(Changes, David Bowie)

In other words, the reason why most younger people, including myself "back then," won't really get the lyrics of "My Back Pages" until later down the road.

5. Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign tower. Slash and burn,
return, listen to yourself churn. Lock him in uniform and book burning,
blood letting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate. Light a candle,
light a motive. Step down, step down. Watch a heel crush, crush. Uh oh,
this means no fear - cavalier. Renegade and steer clear! A tournament,
a tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives
and I decline.

(It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine) R.E.M.

When I was coaching high school debate in the USA, the rumor got around that this song was about cross-examination debate. At that time, REM lyrics were pretty much unavailable, so I remember my team transcribing the lyrics and being very excited to think that they were, indeed, about debate. I have read about this interpretation on the Internet, and it is "debatable," but this song and particularly this passage, will always remind me of my four wonderful years coaching and the crazy, caffeine-pumped atmosphere at the tournaments...of lies.

Feel free to give this a try, and tell me if you do...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Album Cover, or another bloggy thing from Facebook

One nice thing about Facebook is that it is giving me some ideas for this momentarily purposeless blog.

The last Facebook fun I got tagged for was called "Album Cover."

Ok, so mine turned out looking like a cassette -- possibly even an 8-track cartridge, the shame, the shame! And I also had to get my daughter to help me put the text on the photo, so the whole thing was amusing, but left me feeling a little older.

So here are the rules:

1. Go to Wikipedia's random article function, on the upper left sidebar: the title of your article is your band's name. Were I playing this game today, this would be my band's name. I much prefer Ausa Family.

2. Go to Wikiquote, a place I had never gone. Once again, there is a "random page" function. Take the last four or five words of the random page -- there's a little liberty here -- and create your album name.

I don't know about you, but Unprejudiced Minds of Sufficient Grasp is just an awesome album name in my book. I've been feeling proud of it all week, as if I had actually come up with it and the music to go with it to boot!

3. Now for the album cover. I must admit I don't really care for my glam-gal image, but this is what I got and I didn't cheat. Go to Flickr, Interesting photos from the last 7 days. The third photo is your cover, whether you like it or not.

Put it all together with something like Photoshop, or just ask your kids to do it....

I won't tag anyone, but this is kind of a kick if you want to give it a try.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bye, Bye Miss American Newspaper?

Dear Olympian,

Please don't go away -- just get a business model, and fast!

I just wrote a lengthy comment to a post by Marjorie at Interior Designs and decided to turn it into a post of my own, since it's a subject that is near and dear to my heart and one that I've been thinking about a lot lately.

I used to proudly point out that Americans read three times as many newspapers as the French. I'm not sure this statistic is up to date, and even rather doubt it considering the number of newspapers that are on the verge of extinction in the USA.

And apparently, as Marjorie points out, many Americans don't really care.

Well, I care deeply about the local paper that I grew up with, but also feel that the US newspaper industry has been ridiculously dinosaur-like and, well, out and out stupid (dinosaurs did have small brains, right?) in their harnessing of the Internet.

For example, The Olympian, which is a long-standing and high-quality daily, moved years ago -- like so many other papers -- from a "key news" Internet approach to an "all the news" site.

I remember thinking at the time that this was not a good idea. Sure, I was happy to be able to read everything from local sports news to obituaries from my European home, but somehow it didn't feel right. And it doesn't seem to be working out, either.

So, now, I've been reading The Olympian's content online for free for years and all that time I would have been perfectly willing to pay to do so. I'm sure many Olympians living outside of the area would have happily done the same, and those online subscriptions would have added up to a tidy sum by now.

What were they thinking? Who is going to pay for something that they can get for free?

And what a financial boon it would have been to tap into all of the potential Olympian readers all over the world -- from the get-go.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Unconscious Mutterings 319

  1. Mourning :: Funeral

  2. Approval :: Rating

  3. Lotion :: Motion

  4. Perspire :: Sweat

  5. Language :: Learning

  6. Defection :: Artists

  7. Play :: or go

  8. Graphic :: Design

  9. Spicy :: Tabasco

  10. In love :: with a wonderful guy
I've decided to use the number system that corresponds to the Unconscious Mutterings site; thus the jump from Number 11 to Number 319.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ray Davies: A Well Respected Man, at last?

Maybe I'm just taking the time to dissect my Ray Davies Google Alerts, but it seems like my man is finally getting some of the long-elusive respect he so rightly deserves.

First, his musical comedy Come Dancing, the one my daughter and I took off on a crazy cross-Channel weekend to see, won the What's On Stage award for the best off-West End production of 2008.

Now, his name is suddenly popping up all over the press. To wit, take a look at the high-flung praise that just the last three days has brought through my wires:
  1. [In 1968] "There was terrific music wherever you turned, including The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society - Ray Davies' concept album about pastoral England...", February 28 2009
  2. "As a kid, Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger would listen to Kinks records and dream about the places they describe.

    One of his favorites, 'Waterloo Sunset,' may be about a dirty London subway station, but songwriter Ray Davies finds a way to romanticize the ordinary...

    Since the mid-'90s, Schlesinger and his songwriting partner, singer and guitarist Chris Collingwood, have upheld Davies' proud tradition." Hartford Courant, February 26, 2009
  3. "Brooklyn's Mitch Friedman has just released his fourth album of idiosyncratic, funny, original quirky pop - GAME SHOW TEETH...Even Ray Davies, song-writing legend and lead singer of The Kinks [Am I really reading this? "Even" Ray Davies?], has become a fan of Friedman's unique skills as a wordsmith. Having attended a Davies song-writing course in England, Friedman took the advice of the sixties legend that every song must have a clear structure and composed 'This Is a Song' - an amusing tribute to the simple formula that can be found in so many beautiful pieces of pop. (, February 26, 2009)
  4. "'There have been a million records that tell you a straight story and, really, is anybody going to do it better than Ray Davies?'" he [Bryan Poole, guitarist for Of Montreal] says."(, February 27, 2009)
Kinks fans, be of good cheer. Our day has come!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The 15 most significant albums in my life

So, I got this idea from my big blog buddy Elisabeth. Except I first did it on Facebook.

Has anyone else noticed how bloggy things are happening on Facebook? All of the sudden it's all tags and memes. Well, at least I prefer that to inane quizzes.

Anyway, I like this list concept because it's not a list of "My Favorite Albums." There's a big difference between favorite and significant.

So, with no further ado, minimum linkage, and in order at least for the first seven or so:

1. Schoolboys in Disgrace by The Kinks:

This is anything but the best Kinks album. In fact, many would argue it's one of the worst. But it's the first one I owned and the one that really got me interested in the Kinks as purveyors of more than singles. The rest is history: my history.

2. My Aim is True by Elvis Costello:

I saw the future of British rock and roll and his name was Declan McManus. I also saw his first US tour at the Waldorf in San Francisco. His part of the concert lasted 28 minutes.

3. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen:

I saw the future of American rock and roll and his concerts lasted four hours.

4. Reckoning by REM:

When I was teaching in the USA and wondering whatever I was going to listen to, other than Bruce Springsteen, now that New Wave was dying out, one of the people tagged in this article suggested I try REM. I took his suggestion.

5. Meet the Beatles:

Because my mom brought it home on vinyl and I'll always remember how it looked sitting in our living room. Plus it has a song from the Music Man on it, which is pretty cool.

6. Squeezing Out Sparks by Graham Parker:

Well, it's the only autographed album I own because I went to a record-signing and met Graham Parker. And it's just so bloody brilliant.

7. Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan:

OK, I admit, this is here because it's my favorite Dylan album. So by definition, it's significant.

8. Singles Going Steady by The Buzzcocks:

Maybe it's not cool to include greatest hits albums, but I think this is about all one really needs of the Buzzcocks. Call it distilled genius.

9. Face to Face by The Kinks:

Or the one where I became konvinced that The Kinks were, and always will be, better than the Beatles.

10. Live at the Roxy by Michel Polnareff:

It's a family affair.

11. Straight Up by Badfinger:

At one point, Badfinger was my number two group. Given their tragic history (two suicides), now I just feel sad when I listen to them, especially to the song "Name of the Game" by Pete Ham (1947-1975) which is on this album.

12. Late for the Sky by Jackson Browne:

The beauty of song.

13. Parallel Lines by Blondie:

Pure pop for now guys and gals, in all its glory.

14. Stop Making Sense by The Talking Heads:

Because it doesn't.

15. Le Fou Chantant en Public by Charles Trenet:

Recorded in 1987, this fabulous concert by the then 74-year-old Trenet is a gem. I'll always regret not seeing him in concert in the early 90s, when I had two opportunities to do so. But I take some comfort in the fact that apparently he was a totally odious person in real life.

I would love to read anybody else's lists, but especially Randall's, Holly's, Joe's, spacedlaw's, and one from the guy who is playing an all-Kinks show on WCBN-FM as I write.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Unconscious Mutterings 11

  1. Be mine ::
  2. tonight
  3. Ecstatic ::
  4. like
  5. Orderly ::
  6. hospital
  7. Sebastian ::
  8. Belle
  9. Sore ::
  10. Neck
  11. Don’t need ::
  12. this
  13. Rockstar ::
  14. Oh, yeah
  15. Tinfoil ::
  16. AluMInium as the British say
  17. Addiction ::
  18. to love
  19. Where? ::
  20. or when?

Click here for this week's Unconscious Mutterings. It's really a lot of fun to do!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Listography, or organizational geekiness headquarters

(I would like to credit this photo but can't quite figure out where it comes from.)

Somehow as I was creating my 101 things to do in 1001 days list, which I have finally finished, I ran into the site Listography. As its name implies, it's a place to write lists. And it is cool, as well as extremely easy-to-use.

They even have something a simplified html-like system that allows you to check, cross off, italicize and more without having to write type characters like the one I just tried to write, but that wouldn't show up on this post because it was html.

There is a lot more to do with Listography then I have done so far, but if you want to take a look at my incipient geeky lists, feel free.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Unconscious Mutterings 10

  1. Take :: a break, take it easy

  2. 350 :: days

  3. Stand :: By Me

  4. Raspberry :: my grandma

  5. Turnstile :: Métro

  6. Infomercial :: Yuk

  7. Dejected :: Rejected

  8. What’s the word? :: in English for...

  9. Awestruck :: Starstruck

  10. Smashed :: Pumpkins
Random photo linked to item 1 courtesy of Design for Mankind, which looks like a pretty cool blog if you're into modern design and fashion. These two kitties are definitely taking it easy.

Click here for this week's Unconscious Mutterings.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

General update: bracing myself for February

I really don't care for February whatsoever. As I turn the calendar, I hate to say I don't have a lot to look forward to. Lots of work, dreadful weather, the feeling that winter will never end...

While I'm at it, let me throw in March, then I won't have to whine about that other disappointing month when I next turn the calendar.

March has absolutely nothing to recommend itself to me. I used to be tricked by its "harbinger of spring" quality, but, at least where we live, it's usually more of the same: lots of work, dreadful weather...and so forth.

At least I have finished my 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days list. I was right -- just doing the list took me a month. Maybe it will give me some much-needed oomph. I must admit it has already helped me focus better on what I want to do with my time.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Unconscious Mutterings 9

  1. Arrival :: Departure

  2. Vomit :: And when they said sit down, I threw up

  3. Fit :: As a fiddle and ready to...

  4. Stutter :: Stammer

  5. Lifestream :: What's that?

  6. Tread :: Water

  7. Desire :: Wish

  8. Freezing :: Now

  9. Permit :: Allow

  10. Crinkle :: Wrinkle
Click here for this week's Unconscious Mutterings -- and why not play yourself?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

(AP photo by Charles Darapak, found in a slideshow on the home page of today's Huffington Post)

My Bush countdown widget seems a little off to me -- as I write this at 6:20 am EST on Sunday the 18th, don't we still have more than two days to go? Maybe the clock just counts down to Inauguration Day itself.

WHATEVER! I've been feeling bitter the past weeks about how Bush and his historically horrible cronies are getting off the hook so easily.

But I'm going to focus on the positive for the next few days -- we may never pass this way again.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Unconscious Mutterings 8

  1. Resolution :: New Year's, now is that ever NOT original

  2. Break :: Spring

  3. Tied :: and Bound

  4. Suffering :: in silence

  5. Instead :: of doing

  6. Slash :: and burn

  7. Divorce :: what law

  8. Cough :: Syrup

  9. Happy :: Man

  10. Sniffle :: Sniff
Wow, number 9 is kind of scary...

By the way, remember that I decorate each Unconscious Mutterings post with the first legally usable image that comes up when I do a Google Image search for the first word association on the list. It adds another fun, random aspect to this activity.

This week, I'd like to give a little recognition to the royalty-free cartoons on

Click here for more of this week's Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The end of the Bush era: mixed feelings

Bush Tours America To Survey Damage Caused By His Disastrous Presidency

I found myself laughing pretty hard at the clever satire in the above video. But as my mother said, it's funny -- sort of.

I haven't written anything about politics in a while, and I must admit to having tuned out a bit after my election-season obsession. Of course I'm still very excited about Obama's inauguration, despite all of the much-pontificated-about "challenges he'll be facing," which I know are real.

At the same time, seeing the President who really should have been impeached get off so easy makes me absolutely furious.

I imagine some of you are feeling the same way.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Unconscious Mutterings 7

  1. Confirmation :: Proclamation

  2. Verse :: Chorus

  3. Authorize :: Permit
  4. Blog :: This

  5. Thirty :: -something

  6. Heir :: Heirloom

  7. What are you doing? :: I'm writing this darn post

  8. Complaint :: Réclamation

  9. Leave :: it or love it

  10. Tune :: Song
Click here for this week's Unconscious Mutterings.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

101 things to do in 1001 days

The project

(Who said things have to be in order?) Finish my
101 things to do in 1001 days project list 1/1


1. Watch De-Lovely 0/1
2. Watch There Will Be Blood 0/1
Watch Shine a Light 0/1
Watch I'm Not There 1/1
Watch Across the Universe 0/1
Watch Absolute Beginners 0/1
7. Watch The Darjeeling Limited 0/1
8. Watch The Painted Veil 0/1
9. Watch one movie a week. 10/143
10. Go to the cinema on average once a month. 0/32
11. Watch some other movie to be announced because I just realized I had a double entry on this list. Okay, Milk. 0/1

Watch all of the Woody Allen movies I haven't yet seen

12. Whatever Works
13. Vicky Christina Barcelona
14. Cassandra's Dream
15. Scoop
16. Match Point
17. Anything Else
18. Hollywood Ending
19. The Curse of the Jade Scorpion
20. Count Mercury Goes to the Suburbs
21. Shadows and Fog
22. Crimes and Misdemeanors
23. New York Stories
24. Another Woman


25. Listen to some NPR music programs (
Maybe with my new Samsung MP3.)
26. Kontinue to purchase Kinks CDs to the extent my budget can handle it. Try to komplete my kollektion. 3/28 (


27. De-clutter one space a week, no matter how small 6/143
28. Do one load of laundry during the workweek to avoid weekend pile-up 7/143
29. Deal with all accumulated postal mail at least once a week 7/143
30. File away papers from orange folder 0/1
31. Put away laundry every weekend 7/143
32. Frame family photo 1 0/1
33. Frame family photo 2 0/1


34. Bring more technology into my classes. For the rest of academic year 2008, think in terms of at least 3 new activities per month. 8/18
35. Plan and propose a "How to learn language" module for incoming students next school year. 0/1
(The proposal part is done.)
36. Get my new Edublog totally operational for September 2009. 0/1
37. Start vocabulary lists for my classes on Listography (
started...but going nowhere)


38. Read at least parts of all of the Aveyron-related books I own
39. Read French Toast
40. Read Chagrin d'Ecole 0/1
41. Read Five Quarters of Orange 0/1
42. Read A Thousand Splendid Suns 0/1
43. Read Fast food : roadside restaurants in the automobile age 0/1
44. Finish reading X-Ray: The Unauthorized Biography 1/1
45. Increase my non-fiction reading, since that is what I'm interested in writing myself. Save novels for the summer, at least in 2009. 0/1
46. Read Please Please Me 1/1

47. Read five books I've never read from The Modern Library 100 Best Lists 0/5
48. Finish reading Blended Learning 1/1

Personal contacts

49. Have friends over for dinner on average once a month 1/32
50. Send a letter or card to someone in the USA once a month 1/32
51. Send at least an e-card for all appropriate birthdays
52. Send paper cards for all family birthdays.


53. Unsubscribe to all little-read newsletters and alerts by the end of January 08 1/1 (And I don't miss them!)
54. Clear out inbox backlog on my many email accounts by the end of March 08 0/1

55. Take some photo walks and photo outings -- New activity; count
56. Maintain posting pace for La France Profonde 12/143
57. Maintain once-a-week posting for Cuisine Quotidienne
4/143 (sadly, as of late February, I put this blog on vacation. There are so many other things to do on this list!)
58. Reduce banal commenting on other blogs -- OK, I'm commenting less but I'm also following blogs less...this is a double-edged
59. Write more about music on this blog
60. Limit comment subscriptions to threads I really want to follow -- done, but see 58

Professional Writing

Get my editorial calendar set up for my professional blogs every Sunday 9/143
62. Get a second professional writing gig of some sort by September 09 1/1

General online and computer life

63. Reduce my Google Reader subscriptions and go back to following sidebar blogs 1/1
64. Use Facebook on weekends only, other than to check up on family
1/1 for the most part
65. Learn how to organize my Facebook contacts and organize them
66. Reorganize my digital photos 0/49 (folders)


67. Make an average of one homemade dessert a week for my dessert-deprived family, or buy from a local pastry-maker 6/143
68. Learn to make good pizza from scratch 0/1
69. Do a slow cooker meal once a month 1/32
70. Use bread machine on the average once a month, including some new recipes 4/32
71. Keep up my kitchen notebook 5/143

Travel and Tourism

72. Go back to California and visit my old university and meet up with a few old friends 0/1
73. Go to at least one European country other than Great Britain 0/1
74. Go to the Lodève art museum at least once a year 0/3
75.Visit Marseille 0/1
76. Go to Paris at least once other than for work 0/1
77. Visit Montauban 0/1
78. Visit Cahors 0/1
79. Visit Clermont-Ferrand 0/1
80.Go (back) to London 0/1
81.Go (back) to London again 0/1

General Learning

82. Learn more about painting -- General Progress
83. Learn more about London -- General Progress
84. Learn more about the U.K. overall -- General Progress
85. Learn more about Sweden -- General Progress
Learn more about French regional cooking -- General Progress
87. Consolidate my knowledge about wine -- General Progress
88. Learn more about the Aveyron and its recent history -- General Progress
89. Learn more about the history of pop and rock music -- General Progress
90. Learn more about photography -- General Progress


91. Try fifteen new (to me) restaurants 3/15
92. Go away for a weekend by myself or with a girlfriend 1/1
93. Go to two operas 0/2
94. Go to St. Geniez d'Olt, for God's sake! 0/1
95. Go to a major rock-type concert with my daughters 0/1


96. Continue my timid efforts to relearn my basic German -- General Progress


97. Join the local media library again and use it 1/1
98. Keep up on the Obama administration and stay involved from a distance
99. Join one new club or group 0/1
100. Get to the Wednesday morning or Friday evening market at least once a month 0/32