photo: Madawaska, Maine
About: I'm Jen. I live a few miles outside of Boston. I do web work for a non-profit during the day.
This web page has been in all sorts of forms since 1994 when I first wrote HTML in emacs on a Unix terminal at BU. Now I prefer BBEdit on my Mac. I'm never quite sure why I'm doing this
Movable Type 4.0
January 28, 2008
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Posted by Jen on January 28, 2008
January 15, 2008
Billy Bragg's wisdom
"You can look at my nose and say "Billy Bragg, what is the answer to all the world's problems". Now, it's impossible to have one song that answers all the problems of all the world - except this next song I'm going to play for you now...which answers every single problem in your life whatever that problem may be. It may be that someone here's building a nuclear power station at the end of your road or it may be that when you get up in the morning and go for a piss it hurts. Whatever your problem is, this is the answer to it. All you have to do, all you have to do boys and girls is go home, put a kettle on, make yourself a nice cup of tea, sit down, put on a record by The Four Tops - everything is going to be alright".
Billy Bragg, Malmo, Sweden
Posted by Jen on January 15, 2008
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January 9, 2008
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Posted by Jen on January 9, 2008
January 5, 2008
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Posted by Jen on January 5, 2008
January 4, 2008
Civil War genealogy
Thanks to the Alabama Civil War Database, I now am in possession of the pension records of my great-great uncle, Emanuel Langley, of the 31st Alabama Regiment. He was a Confederate soldier who was killed at the Siege of Vicksburg. It's interesting to see how his record contrasts with that of my Union relatives. While they had land and other holdings (cattle, horses) to report, he had nothing. Not to mention, they survived the war and were paid a pension for the remaining years of their lives. I'm not sure what Emanuel's wife received.
The month that the Siege at Vicksburg ended, Lee marched his troops to Gettysburg and my 3rd great grandfather, Felix Drais, a Union soldier of the 12th U.S. Regiment got a musket ball through both his legs. He laid on the battlefield for nearly a month in a field hospital. He married the nurse that cared for him and took her back home to Ohio. Many years later he moved his family to Gettysburg, near the field where he was injured, with his horse, cattle, and hogs in tow.
His granddaughter would marry the grandson of another Union soldier, Samuel Reichard who was injured during the Siege of Petersburg while ripping up the Weldon Railroad by hand.
And their granddaughter would marry Emmanuel Langley's nephew in Massachusetts. A little bit of how I got to be pretty damn American, but decidedly half Rebel and half Yankee.
Posted by Jen on January 4, 2008
January 2, 2008
07 Best, best.
Since it appears I do this every (2004, 2005, 2006) year, I shouldn't leave 2007 out. This mostly serves to remind me what the year was like.I typically try to come up with my 10 best records. I've got 5 this year. I get caught up in old stuff somtimes, but did buy a few new releases.
1. Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
2. Richmond Fontaine - 13 Cities
3. Sun Volt - The Search
4. Lucinda Williams - West
5. Kristin Hersh - Learn to Sing Like a Star
I want to include the Swell Season record from the film Once although it came out in 2006, but I only knew about it in 2007. I saw the movie and thought it was brilliant. Now, however, the songs are getting to me more. Took a bit to sink in. I can't listen to them too much because I almost can't stand it. This means it's good. I'd like to watch the film over and over.
I've also been taken with a song (or two) by the Tossers. Their Wikipedia entry calls them "celtic punk". It bothered me a bit because the guy is from America and sings with an Irish accent, so I didn't want to listen to them at first. Well, then I heard Siobhan and couldn't stop humming it. And then Goodmornin' Da. They write catchy tunes.
I have no best books because most of what I've read has been for school. I am adoring the Carter Family book I received at Christmas (Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone). I had never known the Coy Bays/Sara Carter/A.P. Carter story. Man, intense.
Ok I lied about books--been reading a collection of Raymond Carver poems which I am enjoying. Just read that he's buried near the sea where he used to fish for salmon in Washington state, fitting as he once wrote:
Posted by Jen on January 2, 2008