I opened an official-looking piece of mail from Grinnell the other day, expecting another request for money. Instead, it was the August edition of the 2004 Classletter. As far as I can tell, this thing comes out sporadically whenever there's enough news to send one. Anyone from our class can write in and contribute news about themselves and each other.
*shuffles feet* I, um, I really liked it! I'm usually not exactly Miss Participation when it comes to Grinnell stuff. I didn't contribute to the senior memory book or whatever it was, and felt ashamed later on when I saw that even Chris underwhelm had contributed and I was one of only a handful who hadn't. And despite peer pressure, I haven't donated any money to Grinnell, nor do I have any intention of doing so. But I actually had contributed to this classletter thing, and it was cool to see my contribution there among those of people I know, or at least know of, as I read about what they were all up to. I like that the College neither approves nor disapproves of anything anyone writes for the classletter. They merely provide the means. That's pretty awesome.
In non-vomit-inducing-college-nostalgia-related news, Matt informs me that A List Apart just switched to Rails. (And a new design, too. Pretty, but they're going to catch all kinds of crap for the width.) I made the mistake of starting to follow links from ALA (I don't know if I could reconstruct the path I took, but it was doubtless strewn with insufferably cute style sheets) and ended up sitting here reading Joel on Software for several hours and thinking about how much everything he says is so absolutely right on. Control! Gimme.
The new John Vanderslice record just came out. You need a new John Vanderslice record for it to get colder to. In his mailing list email that went out yesterday, he wrote, "The music of Pixel Revolt is a collaboration between JV and Scott Solter. The lyrics of PR have been edited, expanded and otherwise improved upon by John Darnielle." Man. I would have loved to've been in on some of those conversations. I'd love to sit down with all three of those guys together and just pick their brains. Here's my Darnielle miniaturist mindblow du jour -- I can sum up my love for "Hast Thou Considered the Tetrapod" with a single word that doesn't even mean anything out of context: "the". "I'm in my room with the headphones on, deep in the dream" -- right there's where he lets you in, because the word "the" implies that the listener already has familiarity with these particulars -- objects, feelings, a person, a life. And he does all that with one word. It completely tears me apart.