Monday, December 31, 2007

Just what I've always wanted.

This will be my last Christmas Obsessing Post, I promise, but I really wanted to share my awesome Christmas story. For years now I have been filled with disappointment over Christmas. My family, all of whom I love and get along with, cannot have a calm and pleasant Christmas. They just can't. I think maybe it is too many assertive people in one place, but the bottom line is that Christmas starts with buying crap for people just to buy something and ends in bickering and returns to Macy's.

My entire purpose in uprooting my life in Philadelphia and coming home was to be with my family. September 11 changed my values. Seeing my panicked NYC native friends looking for their loved ones, unable to get back to the city was horrifying. This isn't to say that I'm afraid the same thing would happen here, but part of me just realized that I needed to go home; that becoming a fancy NYC lawyer would not bring me the satisfaction and joy that I require in life.
Since I've been here I've made amazing friends and become even closer to my Uncle, Auntie, cousin Sean, and Grandparents. I am glad that I made the choices that I did.

But Christmas has been a colossal blunder every year. Fights, boredom, general discord, and of course my continued kitchen slavery have made everyone not look forward to Christmas at all. Maybe it is because we have too few children to sustain the magic, I don't know. Every year I've come up with a new plan to improve Christmas- this year's was a zen-like mantra: it is one sucky day out of 365 perfectly fine ones, suck it up and walk it off. This mantra is not really effective though, because I know that Christmas does not have to suck.

This year something new happened. I was invited to join a Christmas party held by a group of friends that I had not really gotten to know until the last few months. We had a full Christmas dinner (which I did not cook), a present exchange (in which people actually put forth effort to buy a gift that would actually be appreciated), and time afterwards to loll around and play games. I know I was hard to shop for since not everyone in the group knows me too well, and I decided to make treat boxes since I also was not certain of what to get everyone and wanted to give them something that I at least had to put effort into. (In related news I may not make another cookie until next December.) But it was not the presents which were important, this time it was actually the thought that counted.

This is the best Christmas I have ever had. There is something beautiful about a group of people who actually care about each other and can show it so perfectly by treating each other with such care and respect. This was the Christmas I have been waiting for, one that made me laugh for no reason, and one which I was sorry to see end. This is how Christmas should be.

I want to thank you guys for giving me the best present I've ever received: a perfect Christmas.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Lacadaisical is accurate...

but greatly reminds me of a name of a bland popsicle.

I've been pondering my 101 List and when I look at things on there, I'm finding more things that I should do, rather than what I want to do; and things that have arbitrary completion. For example finding silverware or a new table requires participation on the parts of stores and designers to provide me with pieces of interest. It also seems contrary to my goal of reducing my huge piles of knick-knackery and reducing my commercialistic life style. They also require that I have money to spend on these items, when my desires and needs shift without relevance to lists that I just made up. So I've decided to adjust my 101 list at some point. I've left all of the long-shots, things I probably won't do or can't afford, but deeply want to do, just as goals for myself.

I know that it is against the rules to change the list, but this is my blog, the only realm over which I am the all-powerful, so you'll all have to live with it. I actually believe that doing things that you want to do is the spirit of the 101 project. So nya.

In other list related thinking:
I'm not a person who really believes in the list thing, I think maybe you can figure that out by reading the previous section of this post, but I think maybe I should write down the things I really want in my life. Maybe instead of turning in circles bemoaning my lack of future plans, I should be working harder to discover them.

If anyone has any other ideas of ways to find direction in life, I welcome suggestions. It's funny, I'm busy trying to motivate my tutoring kid to get good grades, to get into a good culinary school, to become a chef, when I can't even figure out what to do with myself (but we'll just keep that our little secret).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Goals and Whatnot- Emphasis on the whatnot.

I have decided on two new goals for this year (as I am about to finish my 101 list goal of keeping obsessive records of spending):
1. To keep a record of what I actually do, read, and watch for 6 months. For those who just can't get bored enough, Smart People on Ice. (For some reason I feel weird about you guys reading SPOI, so if it disappears, sorry!)

2. To purchase only used items (within reason) from January through March. (To this end I purchased new undies last week; as used undies are technically available used, but blech.) This should both give me new perspective on how spoiled and wasteful I am, while simultaneously reminding me of how most of the world lives and shops. (In other words, I think it would be neat.)

Discarded idea:
Could I go one month without eating out? And would it cost more or less? Would I eat more or less?

In unrelated news:
someone Googled "larp sluts" and found SUC. I feel that I'm filling some sort of important niche for creepy larpers. Bring me your disenfranchised smellies who want to be sexily ravaged by zombies or suck the blood of Japanese school girls- yes, there is a place for you here. But only if you want to read about raccoons, T4 rumors, and my bitchings.
What? No? Whatever, enjoy posting ??!! ads on The Stranger. Loser.

Belated Christmas Ramble- My gift to you!

Sorry, I was too busy stuffing myself silly to post a cheerful greeting yesterday.
I hope those of you who do the Christmas thing had an awesome one, and those of you who don't do Christmas enjoyed sitting around in your undies all day.

My whole 'make Christmas suck less' was not completely on key this year. I'd noticed that Christmas wasn't as big and ridiculous this year- which I guess was what I secretly hoped for, sort of. I noticed fewer snacks at work, fewer cards received, and fewer and cheaper presents than usual too. I'm guessing it is half economic and half that maybe people feel like Christmas is too stressful and out of control. This probably means that a lot of people feel like I do.

But it seams like doing less of the same simply made Christmas even more lackluster. I want new traditions! I want increased joy at doing things together instead of fewer presents. I want more time with friends and family and I want that quality of time that you sometimes need to put a little special effort into.

In my fictitious Utopian land everyone would get a stocking filled with small fun things, a new pair of pj's, a simple gift- a video game or book, and then the family would share in something nice- a vacation, gaming system, outing, new couch, whatever. Friends who exchange gifts would exchange books or small unostentatious gifts. But all this would be done together- with intent to enjoy each other and practice the thankfulness that has all but disappeared from Thanksgiving. To give gifts that would be appreciated rather than a gift that meets some monetary requirement. I want the time, money, thought, and effort I put into a present to show my appreciation for the person receiving my gift and I want them to understand and appreciate this right back.

When there is such poverty all over the world and such debt in America, pruning Christmas down to size just seems right to me. There has to be a true spirit of Christmas regardless of your belief in Christ, otherwise this whole thing- the presents, the food, all of it is just an excuse to behave recklessly with our money and health to gratify our own selfish desires.

It is like what I say to people who suggest that I can do the same work in the private sector for much greater pay. If I got paid $10,000 more a year I would just buy $10,000 more shoes. I have plenty of shoes, but what I require is to go home at the end of the day and feel good about how I spent my time. I don't think I could do that working at Microsoft or Nordstrom.
Christmas shouldn't be about shoes, it should be about people. Next year I am going to get started on the Make Christmas Awesome campaign by sewing and filling stockings for my family. Maybe all these baby steps will culminate in the magical Christmas that I've been dreaming of but it probably won't, but I always feel best when I do my best and maybe that will make everyone else feel just that much better.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Mysterious Benedict Society


I just finished The Mysterious Benedict Society yesterday and was greatly impressed.

The style of writing was definitely that of a children's book, but is much more compelling and well crafted than most. The story is about a team of four unusually talented children who are brought together by a genius to prevent an unknown catastrophe.

Trenton Lee Stewart crafted a very intriguing and satisfying book. It is a fairly quick read and I highly recommend you pick it up. It is one of the better things I've read lately.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Seriously though...

what is up with the Dominick coordinated MacMansion light displays?

Donkey Fever!

Remember last year's Dominick the Donkey Fest? Donkey Fever is running wild!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Worthless losers and the women who "love" them.

A few months before Sam* and I dated a girl came to him and asked him to have sex with her. Of course he was all too happy to do so- even though it was her first time. As one might expect, after that she wanted so badly to be with him, but he chose me instead. I think it drove her a little crazy that I wasn’t sleeping with him and he still wanted to be with me and not her. But she never held it against me- although her friends were somewhat unfriendly for a while. She was a cool chick.

I didn’t hold the sex-with-a-virgin- you-didn’t-have-any-interest-at-all-thing against Sam as I have never rolled in the judgmental girlfriend manner- although the situation was an unheeded warning sign.

Not too long into our entanglement Sam went on vacation** with his boys and when they returned his best friend and another buddy confessed that he had cheated on me. It was in clear violation of ‘bro’s before ho’s’ but I guess I’m not a ho.

So as we jogged through the park I casually mentioned that I knew what he had done but did not care and that since he was moving shortly we should just forget about it and enjoy a congenial couple of weeks. It was somewhat strained, but much less troublesome than a breakup; and to tell you the truth, I must not have given a damn about him since I didn’t get mad or feel hurt.

Anyway, the cool chick who unwisely “lost her virginity”*** with Sam just friended me on Facebook and I am notified that she has filled in the little ‘how do you know this person’ field and while I suppose that “Was de-virginated by her sleaze-bag ex-boyfriend” is a long-shot, I’ve got my fingers crossed.


* Name not changed to not protect his anonymity.

**Sidenote:
When he got back he had a new tattoo that he got while stoned blind at some temple in Thailand. He tried to hide the massive snake across his back. How you can expect to hide a foot tall snake tattoo is beyond me, but I’m sure he used his hockey player logic.

*** Final Sidenote:
I hate this phrase, so excuse my use of it for the sake of convenience. I have not lost something by skiing the first time. I gained the experience of skiing. There is no presence of the absence of an experience. Whatever, back to the story.

Link Dump

Deer wrestling ruins sofa.
Because Nature does not respect upholstery.

Accusations of drunken lemur-hood result in a pink slip.
People actually read Dilbert? Who knew?

Snakes in a tree.
What do you want? There is a Christmas tree and inside it there's a snake. This reminds me also of the Chip & Dale cartoon where Donald steels their tree and they plot their revenge.

I want to defy the logic of all sex LARPs.

Sex LARPs?!!!?
Apparently they must exist as someone Googled 'seattle sex LARP' and ended up on SUC.
I'm not clear as to how that works- do you pretend to have sex OR do you pretend to be elves while having actual sex? Further, I assume LARPing to be a kinda guy thing, for kinda unsexy guys.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More on the college birth control screw-up.

An article about congress attempting to correct their earlier "oversight" that made college health centers ineligible for discounted oral contraception.

And in other reproductive news, I suddenly realized that I myself am nearly out my own pill prescription, which means that I have to go to the doctor today. Let us hope this goes better than last year.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Snarky: At Random

Here, read this random crap and make sense of it if you can:


I had a wonderful Saturday of baking and watching cartoons. Yay cartoons! I was able to watch cartoons (Skunk Fu, TMNT Fast Forward, Viva Piñata, & The Batman) from 9 am till noon and could not have enjoyed it more.
I made two kinds of fudge and some sugar cookie dough (currently in my freezer). I also made chicken pot pies from scratch. Being me, I made the pies without a recipe and they turned out very well.
It was incredibly freeing to not have to so much glance at a clock for a full day. I didn’t have to wear makeup or change out of sweats. It was awesome.
My apartment is kind of mess now, but I should have it under control tonight (I hope).
I still have several additional kinds of treats to make and I am trying to figure out how to make all of the different cookies in the allotted space of time.* And I still haven’t finished sending out Christmas cards, nor have I started wrapping presents, nor have I finished making some of them. Somehow I must fit in extra time between this weekend and Christmas. 3 days would suffice. I need one of those little time turner thingies like Hermione has in Harry Potter. Somehow I just don’t think that will happen though.

************

Sunday I went to see I am Legend with some friends and I was most impressed. I can’t recall any story details for the original novella, but I have seen the previous films based on the book, Omega Man and The Last Man on Earth, about a jillion times and I think that I am Legend stayed pleasantly close to the general atmosphere of the previous films. Will Smith did a great job, and the effects were good. There were some plot elements that I would have liked fleshed out- I certainly would have watched another half-hour of film to get more plot and character development. But overall the movie was very satisfying and well worth the months of anticipation. (Hell, I was satisfied by the trailers. I am very excited for the new Batman movie.)

If you liked I am Legend, Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston, is quite easy to get your hands on and well worth a viewing as well. I particularly enjoyed that movie’s development of the albino/vampire/cannibal/mutants. The Last Man on Earth (mid-sixties Italian movie) was very sophisticated for the time, but was not as cohesive. Vincent Price was the star and the story was rather exclusively his; there was not a lot of development there. I picked up a copy a few years ago in one of those dollar dvd bins, and if anyone wants to borrow it they’re welcome to.

****************

I also watched the zombie comedy, Fido (Sunday is cannibalistic fiasco movie day at Ye Olde Family Homestead). Fido is set in the 50’s (post zombie war) and tells the story of a young misfit who befriends his household zombie/butler and finds himself in some trouble when his zombie gets a bit out of control. Everyone needs to rent this movie. It was funny, heart-warming, amazing, and had zombies in it. I flat out loved it.

***********

I finally joined Facebook over the weekend, and rather than ending my irritation with social network sites, it has caused a worse problem: cyber-smuggery. Instead of being a fun little tool, it has given snarky people who I barely know or hang out with an excuse to be snarky about how long it took me to get there and what is on my profile. It is exhausting to deal with these ass-muppets, and I should have stuck to my guns about joining in the first place—let that be a lesson to you kids about peer pressure.

So to summarize:

Cartoons, Cookies, Pot Pies, Fudge, Sweatpants, I am Legend, Last Man on Earth, Omega Man, Fido = Good

Makeup, Clocks, Facebook, Peer Pressure, Snarky Ass-Muppets = Bad

*In a dimly related note, I have decided to really do a lot of chocolate Christmas treats this year- mainly because I’m not really into chocolate, so I won’t eat them. I am embarrassed to admit that I’ve owned the pair of black slacks that I am wearing for 4 years and this is the first time they’ve felt snug. I better keep a close eye on my food and exercise habits this Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tales of Miniature Quiana: Bunny Edition

When I was quite young I lived in a big white house separated into three apartments. We lived in the right hand apartment, beneath a rosy cheeked bird enthusiast. I’d hear her and the bird chirping cheerfully to each other from my top bunk.

The rosy-cheeked woman went on vacation and asked my mother to check in on her bird, and of course the bird died under mother’s care (she isn’t terribly skilled in the art of keeping stuff alive- although I continue to believe that the bird died of natural causes). At any rate, one day it just crawled under its paper and went to sleep. Mother was flabbergasted, but the neighbor handled it well.

The giant cage sat in our backyard, an object of curious dread for my friend Phillip and me. Phillip lived across the street. He was blond and happy and average, and I envied him fiercely.

One day as we romped around the backyard we saw a flash of brown and white. Holy cow! A rabbit! We jumped up and down and ran into the house and breathlessly told my mother all about it. It was probably mother that put the idea of catching it into our heads. Mother and I share a very similar sense of humor.

Having seen many 80’s fantasy movies about women and nature, Phillip and I staked out the yard from the porch, leaving lettuce and such just beneath the porch steps. We thought that while it was eating I could walk over and hold out my hand, then it would hop over and that would be that. As an adult I know that if I had managed to get close, it would have bitten me and given me The Rabies, but I was too taken with the Unicorn scene in Legend to understand that.

As one might have expected, this strategy didn’t work. Having now been tantalized by glimpses of its soft fur we were more determined than ever. We decided it was time to be scientific, so we climbed the steps to my neighbor’s apartment and told her excitedly that we had spotted a rabbit. Brown with a white butt, and we would catch it in her cage, if she’d let us.

She obviously thought that we were not going to be able to figure out how to catch a rabbit, so she tolerantly agreed to let us use her cage.

We got string and pulleys from my science kit and a carrot from Phillip’s mother and set to work. Toiling all day, we made a rabbit trap that Wile E. Coyote would be proud of. At dusk Phillip’s mother called him in for dinner and I was about to go into the house when I remember the carrot. Phillip would be at church all morning and wanted to me to wait for him to get home before setting our trap. I ran back to the cage, crawled inside and was promptly hoisted by my own petard.

I yelled for my mom for a while and eventually gave up. Then it started to rain. I’m not sure how much time passed, but it was full dark when I started crying. It's scary when you’re little and trapped in a bird cage in the dark. Eventually my mother came out and found me. She was laughing so hard at my pitiful situation that she took forever to get the cage open.

The next day I told Phillip that I didn’t think that the rabbit would like to live in a cage and we scampered off to a new adventure.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Punisher Cake

Paul just sent me a pic of the Punisher cake. So here, bask in the glory of cake-ness:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Praise me!

I attended an alumni event. With strangers who were probably going to be boring. Of course this was an event that involved an amazing lecture and tour of a chocolate factory, so I had little choice but to attend. Theo Chocolates in Fremont was awesome and I can't express properly how wonderful the lecture and tour were. The lecture was arranged by another alum, but the tour was great and I encourage anyone to take it and ask lots of questions. The chocolate was awesome (even though I'm not really into chocolate) and Theo is super high-quality, organic and free-trade, so you should pick some up. Theo Chocolates are available at Whole Foods, nation-wide.

However, that is not the point, the point is that I did something by myself when I wasn't sure I would be comfortable. I don't want to say I'm a wallflower, because I'm not, but I am not always comfortable going places by myself and I absolutely hate small talk and try my hardest to avoid it. But I showed up early, made small-talk, chatted on the tour, and stayed for just a bit longer to talk to the people I had spoken with before darting to my car, full of chocolate and smugness.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I'm really proud of me. Good job, me.

Weekend Update

I had a kind of full weekend and in lieu of a link dump, I thought I would catch you up. Yes, I know it is Wednesday, but better late than never, right?

Friday night Jim and I had delicious cheese steaks at a place creatively called, “Cheese Steaks.” The steaks were good and I think that two more cheese steak trips will settle my 101 List obligation. Later we retired to my place to work on a Punisher cake for Jason. I made a Dark Chocolate Cake (which fell, took about 10 minutes longer than expected, and tasted amazing) with a white chocolate frosting. I was nervous about how sweet the frosting would be so I used salted butter, but in the end it was still far to sweet and had a flavor that was not very complex and just a bit saltier than I would have liked. I think the cake would be better complimented with a fluffy fudge frosting or a peppermint frosting, but the cake itself looked quite cool.

Saturday morning Paul and I dragged our carcasses to the State FLL Championship to coach our awesome robot team. They had some set-backs, but I was impressed with their perseverance. We didn't win, but we learned a lot and we got to watch some really impressive teams. After that we joined some folks at George's for Jason's awesome birthday party. Rock Band was played, cake was eaten, good times were had. Good job on surviving another year, Jason. (Not that I doubted you could....)

Sunday Jim took me to see the awesome Seahawks game against the Cardinals. Football is not my favorite sport, but I love watching it live. The game was very exciting and the stadium was fantastic. Nothing beats the energy of a full stadium cheering its team to an important victory. I always imagine what it would be like to be in the Coliseum where so many people were gathered to watch amazing sports.

This was quite the weekend and I am fabulously blessed with wonderful friends. Thanks for making my life sharp, varied, and interesting.

Monday, December 10, 2007

It is like magic for boring people.

I can't stop watching this and I don't know why. God, I am so boring.

New heights of nerd-dom now possible.

I really like the book Animal Farm. You may have noticed the plethora of references to it... or not.

Anyway, Threadless has a new design for Orwell nerds:




















Says the designer: "All t-shirts are equal, but some are more equal than others."

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I'm shocked.

Someone finally stood up to the Boy Scouts! Way to go Philly!! The city that booed Santa says, "Go away, haters!" And you know it's bad when Philly thinks you're a dick.

The Boy Scouts of America group has been hijacked by the religious right and it is a shame. Not allowing non-Christians and homosexuals is flagrantly wrong, regardless of its legality. The fact that these groups are meeting rent-free in city buildings all over the US is wrong and tacitly proves that the government believes in religious and sexual discrimination. I don't care if you want to have the Junior KKK (being a scum-bag isn't illegal), just hold it in your own living room- I shouldn't have to pay for it.

I had an amazing experience with the Girl Scouts (which is unaffiliated with the Boy Scouts) and wish that ALL boys could enjoy such a wonderful childhood experience as scouting. Very little is more American than a keen appreciation of cookies and nature.

It makes me sad that there are probably tons of children and parents out there who just love scouting and what it used to stand for, but who have to meet under the discriminatory policies put in place by recent right-wing leadership. (As no written rules were specified about membership qualifications in those areas, what the man says in the article about scouts always being discriminatory is patently false [although I'm sure it was like all fraternal organizations at the time Jewless, blackless, and boobless] and even if that were true, that certainly does that excuse being an absolute ass-hat now.

And so in honor of Philly's awesome advance, I have thought long and hard [snicker] and come up with a tasteless Boy Scout joke:

I would have thought the Boy Scouts would be all about rubbing two sticks together.

Hamstringing the Energy Bill

House approves big energy bill
"[Pelosi's] decision to insist on including the tax increases on oil companies — costing them $13.5 billion in taxes over 10 years — surprised even some environmentalists and set the stage for a contentious fight in the Senate where Republican leaders have indicated they will try to strip it from the bill."

So here is the question. Did strategists choose to add the 13.5 Billion Dollar issue in order to kill the bill in Senate OR did they put it in to give Republicans something to cut?

I'm not sure how I feel about this bill, but lessening our dependence on foreign energy sources sounds pretty appealing. I wonder if the bill's emphasis on bio-diesel and corn-derived ethanol is really a long term environmentally sound strategy or if those persuasive corn growing conglomerates are at it again. I hate it when the government pens in science with all of their money and incentives. I would much rather the government throw more money into public transportation and research into renewable energy resources to fuel our lives in general (and perhaps electric cars) than into troubled yet lucrative, existing areas of fuel creation.

Making love out of nothing at all.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I don't want to seem obsessed, but...

Here is a little bit more T4 information for those who consider that franchise to have been an overwhelming force in the very foundation of their personality. Uhm... I mean for people who really like movies about robots with nipples.

Possible evidence of the failure of Abstinence Only Ed

First rise in U.S. teen births since '91
The US policy on sex ed reminds me of small children who cover their eyes so you can't see them.
The whole thing ticks me off. Republicans must love "welfare moms" as they are raising an entire generation of them.

I'm a blog-slacker.

Here, take this random crap:

I've been busy lately and as Christmas approaches I am becoming kind of... nervous. I'm trying to move from a store bought present format to a home-made present format, because I want Christmas to be more thoughtful and less 'gimme gimme'.
Every time I try to improve Christmas I get spanked, so I'm just a bit apprehensive that people will not realize that I put my time and effort into their gifts. Anyway, if I give you a gift this year and you are not happy with it:
1. blow me.
2. pretend to like it so that I won't go home and feel sad about Christmas.
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A cool Christmas gift idea: Charity Navigator's gift cards. If you don't know what to give someone and are ready to admit it, give them a charity gift card and they can give to any one of the numerous charities on Charity Navigator. I think that is pretty neat.
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Today is Repeal Day, so go have a drink. If you can't, let me know and I'll have one for you.
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That is all.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Watchmen Update 12.3.7

I am actually now interested in the story. I now admit that it is complex and interesting in its storyline.

Are you happy now?

Things that are awesome:

1. Those delicious little oranges "cuties".

2. Christmas decorations & seasonal beverages.

3. The robotics team that I coach going to state on an award that they earned in the specific area that I coach.

4. Dinosaurs.

Just what you wanted!

More Terminator 4 news courtesy of Reuters via BWE.
Apparently they are looking at Christian Bale for the role of John Connor in this installment.
If this actually happens you may consider this definitive proof of the existence of God.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Watchmen Update

Thanks to Grey's Anatomy being a repeat, I was able to read two entire never-before-read pages. Yes two entire pages of words- and I kinda was interested. However a disk of Numb3rs arrived and I had to take care of that....

I also ate the entirety of the remaining Ambrosia. And in hopefully unrelated news my pants felt tight this morning, not muffin top tight, but tighter than expected.

Yesterday a head hunter called about a job in the very department in which these young ladies work. The job seems pretty interesting, but I don't think I could successfully pretend to like them as well as I do my current coworkers. And the more I think of it, the more realize that these are the sorts of people I would work with at any investment banking firm or law office. When putting it into that perspective, I'd rather work in a place where people care less about who made your shoes and more about doing something worthwhile in life. Identity crisis semi-averted.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Interesting Article

A Muslim belongs in the Cabinet : Muslims are uniquely qualified to help deter Islamist threats.

An interesting article brought to my attention due to my interest in how Mitt Romney handles his religious affiliation.


Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion

So, last night, when I was supposed to be finishing Watchmen, I decided to watch tv instead. Let's just say I was more interested in vacuuming and putting away my fall decor, than buckling down. I did however, reach the point at which I quit last time, so that is progress... sorta. Maybe tonight before Grey's, I will get a little more done.

Anyway, I've been watching that show Life. I have no idea why I like it so much, but I do. It is just enough different to be interesting and just enough the same to be comfortable. You should check it out.

So, not regarding anything above, I want to buy a cheap cricket bat. I mean less than 50$. For a present for my cousin, who needs to use it for zombie defense. Anyone know where I could procure an inexpensive cricket bat for display (and undead attack) use?

And on yet another topic I have been saying unintentionally odd things today:
ex #1: "Spam is very personal."
Meaning everyone likes their spam a different way. I like mine slabbed, fried in soy sauce and brown sugar, cuddled by a block of pressed rice and wrapped in delicious seaweed.
ex #2: "And that is the end of my awesome story about jicama."
I need to think before I tell stories before I tell them, rather than suddenly realizing in the middle that I am boring and ending it with "and that was my awesome story about whatever." Because I think that's kind of weird, right?

And in other completely unrelated news, China is super-bored and looking for new things to suppress: pandas.
They are banning unflattering panda imagery. I wish I had an advocate to ban unflattering pictures of me.

Final non-sequitor: every Christmas I day dream of getting a job in the private sector, holiday bonuses, commensurate pay, smart people... *sigh*. The question is will money make me happy? It will allow me to buy more awesome presents for all 3 billion people on my Christmas list. And I will certainly earn greater respect at a "better" job. But when I come home pooped from a day making other people rich, will I be happy with that- or- will I sit and think about how I *used* to come home after helping restore important social programs through the use of math and fancy spreadsheets? Baaaaaaaa! Instead of making important life decisions, I think I will stay frozen here. This will be *awesome*.

Dear Upstairs Neighbor,

Dear Upstairs Neighbor,

While you are much preferred over my previous upstairs neighbor, I am most perplexed by your habits. It isn't that at exactly 11 om you blare your radio then get into your shower, it's that your taste in music is appalling.

Was that John Mayer follow by Nora Jones? (Worse yet the banjo-y one?) Are you a fifty year old woman? No? Are you sure?

I hope all is well up there, Mystery Boring Music Neighbor. And if you need any help with boring music for your shower party mix-tape, I think I have an Air Supply cassette in my trunk.

Wait. Seriously, is that Sarah McLaughlin? Are you sure you don't have boobs? No? Ok, ok, you're just a really boring person who likes really loud strummy strum strum strum acoustic guitar music. At eleven at night.

Feel free to blare away- I sleep with ear plugs in. It should insulate me from your mind blowingly pedestrian musical tastes. I'd take a million Lilith Fair guitar dirges over OCD dooring open & closing and the 5 am phone call arguments (At least I hope he was on the phone...)

Well I guess I will let you get back to your BNL, it's ear plug time for me.

Good Night,

q.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Loaf'n

I am greatly looking forward to a night of awesome loafing. I think I will make something very simple for dinner, put away my fall decor, and then plop down with my delicious bowl of ambrosia and work on Watchmen.

I know this will shock my fellow nerds, so brace yourselves: this will be my third attempt at reading Watchmen. This time I plan to actually read the whole thing, thus prying you bossy monkeys off of my back.

I know it is sacrilege, but it has never caught me; I think it is a little bit (brace very hard now) boring. And in fact the only reason I am attempting this third and final go is so that this will not happen:

You: "Oh my gosh, have you read Watchmen, it is AWESOME?!"
Me: "Oh I've tried to read it a few times..."
You: "WHAT DO YOU MEAN TRY? THERE IS NO TRY! THIS IS THE SINGLE GREATEST USE OF PAPER IN THE HISTORY OF HUMAN PAPER USE! YOU SUCK AND CANNOT PLAY OUR REIGNDEER GAMES ANY MORE!!!"
Me: "muuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shifty Squirrels for Shifty Girls

Shifty Squirrels:
3 Hurt In Squirrel Attack At SJ's Evergreen School
Nature attacks pig-tailed school girls.

Shifty Girls:
Uhm... me.
So I feel a little uncomfortable about my blogging of my honest feelings about family gatherings yesterday. A little grinchy and grumbly, and just a bit curmudgeonly. I don't know. I won't say that it threw me into a funk, but maybe just a little bit. Perhaps the truth is not nice and the world needs all the bullshit to continue spinning smoothly.
On the other other hand, I don't think that feminists throughout the ages busted their asses so that woman could vote and go to work, and then cruise home and do everything else too. Bah, whatever, I will shut up before digging myself a new hole to fall into.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Family, I love you, but I am not your bitch.

It is the case in my family that the men do nothing during the holidays. None of the baking, none of the cooking, none of the shopping, and certainly none of the cleaning.

I washed the dishes 3 times on Thanksgiving (along with help from my cousin Jessica- thanks dude, you are awesome). I also made a dessert and helped to cook the stuffing. I was happy to relieve my aunt from her kitchen slavery by helping with dishes, but I am still a bit perplexed as to how I ended up spending a large portion of my day in the kitchen (and all night the evening before) whilst the men (and lazy women) spent no time in the kitchen.

Memo to my family: you are not guests. You are family. You should offer to help with dishes and then do so.

Memo to my friends: you are guests. Offering to help with dishes is awesome and important, but I will never allow you to wash a dish. It is not your duty but you are awesome.

Memo to relatives older than my generation: not choosing to have children does not hit pause on my aging. If the kids are taking care of dishes, then the children may do so.

Men of my family: I do not take joy in cleaning up after you. Neither of us wants to do the crappy jobs, but when you refuse to do them, someone else is forced to carry your weight. If you are comfortable doing that, there will always be some sucker to do it (me), but remember that my goodwill is contingent on relationships built upon respect and nothing says "I don't respect you" quite as well as, "Here make me food! Now clean my plate."

My family is perpetually exclaiming how wrong it is that I am not married. Why should I get married? I'm already taking care of them like they're children. Raising another baby trapped in a grown man's body sounds awful and frankly I don't know how to screen for lazy. You figure out how to do that and you let me know.

Family, I hope you don't take this too hard, I still love you. I just would also like to feel appreciated and maybe have enough time to chat with you before being called in to 'set up' dessert and then do your dishes. I'm pretty sure that the few of you will read this and think that I'm kind of being a jerk and maybe over-reacting. You go right ahead and go into the kitchen and make a breakfast for 8, then do the dishes, then make dinner for 20, then do the dishes, then make dessert for 20, then do the dishes. Then you can kiss Jessica, my Auntie and my collective butts.

PS- Last time I mentioned something of this nature I got sassed for being a sexist. Well, I don't think that it is outlandish to say that the American cultural norm under which most men were raised is not acceptable to me. Men can certainly say that the same is true for women.

Holy Crap! I’m Boring!

I hope you guys all had a great and relaxing Thanksgiving. I had a four day loaf-a-thon.
Wednesday I cut out of work early to finish up my Christmas shopping and sabotaged Steve by forcing him to buy gifts for himself- bwahahahahaha. I topped the night with some serious baking and a little 4400. (I just finished season two and it was quite intense!)

Thanksgiving was fun, between the gaming, the food, and the lack of present-related stress, it was an ideal holiday. We played lots of games (including Pounce!) and even my grandparents took some time to play Wii Carnival Games. I think it was my best Thanksgiving ever! Thanks Steve, Addy, & Paul for joining my crazy family for this, my most favorite holiday in which I don’t get to dress as a pirate.

Friday several of us got together and watched Donnie Darko and Darkman. Verdict:

Donnie Darko- worth watching all the way through once, but not awesome.

Darkman- classic Sam Raimi.

Paul’s couch- too slick. It is very hard to flop around as I like when there is the constant fear of sliding right off the couch. Not that I did, heavens no. I am as graceful as a cat.

Saturday I coached my robot team, had dinner with Dawn at Grinders, and then was talked into spending the evening at a Rock Band party. (Quite possibly the nerdiest day in recorded history.) Rock Band is a really fun game, although I was too shy to do anything other than sing- and even then only when cajoled. Drums involve coordinated movement of BOTH hands. Yikes!

Sunday was nothing out of the ordinary, just dinner with the family.

And while I’m on the topic of things you won’t find interesting:
I watched this awesome movie with my uncle, The Curse of The Demon. If you haven’t seen it, you should, because it is *awesome*. I don’t want to give too much away, but there’s a curse… and a demon.

Do you think that I should go to the Hollywood Erotic Boutique and tell them about the great interest in them on the web? Could that be my good deed of the year? It’s just that I’ve got one month left in the year and have not accomplished any good deeds…. Can good deeds be done at Hollywood Erotic Boutique or need all deeds accomplished on the premises be dirty?

I got two crazy ideas for things that I would like to try.
1. Write down everything I read and at least one thing about it. Then put that up on my blog.
2. Attempt to buy everything that I can from a second hand store for 6 months. Obviously some things cannot be purchased at a thrift store; socks, gifts, undies, etc., but many things can and I think it would be a cool experiment.
What do you think?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Too angry to come up with a reasonable title.

Saudis defend punishment for rape victim

A Saudi judge has increased the punishment for a rape victim on the basis of two facts:
1. she was riding in a car with a man to whom she was not related
2. she alerted the media to her plight

I don't want to say this, because it is wrong and I know better; but even though I don't believe in 'an eye for an eye' style justice, I sincerely hope with every fiber of my being that the judge and every asshole who defends him is raped. I do. I absolutely hope that they are violated in the most obscene and horrible manner. I hope that they are shamed and relieved of their status. It is wrong and I don't care.
I hope that they are bought and sold like cattle, limited from being an adult, are never allowed to enjoy sex, and beaten like dogs when they stand up for themselves.

I know that this is not justice, but I do not care a bit.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Coincidence" my foot!

Squirrels briefly kill power in 2 cities
Alternate title:
Coordinated attacks on our power grid successfully create widespread power outages.

Well, Nature, you win this round.

Via Jim.

That's *Miss* Crazy Rock Lady to you!

Last night I was attempting to parallel park on the small one way street next to my building and kept going up on the curb. The street is perfectly straight and I have parked on it hundreds of times.
Finally I park what seems like miles from the curb and threw open the door. I was parked a good foot and a quarter from the curb. I looked back and saw a giant pyramid shaped rock right next to the curb- which I had apparently not been on at all.

Rock! Why were you thwarting me and threatening my new and fancy tires?!
I re-parked ahead of the rock, grabbed my hand bag, checked my mail and went all the way to my apartment door and then suddenly realized that the last big rock-like object I parked next to was thrown through my window.

I went back out to my car and and picked up the heavy rock. I thought to myself, "What the hell am supposed to do to get rid of this rock?!"
So I went around to the back of the building and to prevent the rock from a life of crime hurled it into the dumpster. And while I feel no need to explain myself to others, I feel kind of weird about the neighbors who watched me throwing a rock away. How does one explain that you want to prevent mischief by throwing big rocks into dumpsters?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ginko Ginko Ginko

How Is a Ginkgo Tree Like a Discarded Computer?
Neat article about Chinese scavenger industries and also smelly fruit. The path between Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges was lined in mature female ginkos. Reading about their horrible smell made me reminisce a wee bit.

My new favorite phrase is 'mature female ginkos'.

Good times.

7 Random Things

Seven Random Things List as prompted.


1. I read cookbooks for fun. I even tab them, and then rarely look at them again.

2. My least favorite thing is losing something; I am prone to fits of anger when I can’t find an object that I feel I should be able to find. I can destroy an entire room in less than ten minutes on a serious hunt for my keys or my passport.

3. I’m scared to give blood. I didn’t used to be able to, but now I can but won’t.

4. Sometimes on weekends I tell my friends that I have plans for the night and then turn off my phone and sit at home to catch up on my reading or watch tv.

5. I find it nearly impossible to break up with boyfriends. I am not afraid of conflict, but I hate disappointment. I limped through the last 3 months of my last “real” relationship (possibly scarring me for life; causing me to be terrified of additional entanglements from which I will be unable to uhm… untangle myself), and have dated people off and on for years out the sheer desire not to discuss ‘feelings’. I also hate being yelled at and will avoid it at all costs, so that certainly doesn't help.

6. I have no plans of any kind for my future. I am absolutely living in the moment and feel very uncomfortable about this. Sometimes I wonder if this is a direct reaction to familial pressure.

7. I don’t like chocolate. Or rather I think chocolate is fine, but given the choice I will choose berries or cinnamon.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hate Mail!

Dear American Apparel,

I am tired of your perversely thin cotton t-shirts. I know that most of your clientèle would like to wear 17 shirts of varying lengths at once or conversely wander around bra-less with their thinly veiled areola on display. But I’m not Paris Hilton or a 16 year old girl with no confidence, so I would like a shirt that does not display my bellybutton and immediately get minuscule holes in it.

Additionally, I like to transfer the shirt from my body directly to the laundry hamper and shortly thereafter to the ‘washing machine’. I’m just guessing from your creepy kind of kiddy porn looking advertisements that neither your models, nor their attire, are familiar with water. Water is clear and wet and when combined with detergent will cause bad odors, grease, dirt, and mustard to disappear from cloth and many other substances. However, when I wash your shirts no matter what temperature I use or whether I machine dry them, fluff* them, or lay them flat, they always come out catawampus** in form. The hem and breast-al regions seem to be the primary areas of deformation. Let me express to you that one of the major areas of my body I would prefer not to look catawampus is my breasts.*** Perhaps you should make socks instead?

I’d like to add that I have had some of my other t-shirts since the 90’s**** and most of them are in better shape than the American Apparel t-shirts that I just purchased. In fact, I have a t-shirt that I’ve been wearing since I was 9 years old (pajama shirt, to regular shirt, to work out shirt) but it took about 15 years before you could clearly see through it without trying.

Additionally, it seems that your t-shirts are the only ones available in the continental US. How have you managed this? I am grudgingly impressed that your crappy- yet expensive- shirts have managed to dominate the indy t-shirt industry. I’m also impressed with your no sweatshop policy, though I wonder if perhaps your t-shirts would be less crappy if you used workers from a more industrious country. Americans are kind of lazy. Try Germans- I hear that they have a great work ethic.

My less than a year old tissue thin t-shirt, now replete with a minuscule peek-a-boo-I-see-Quiana-has-been-snacking hole and I have some work to do, so in closing I just want to let you know that I absolutely despise everything about you from your annoying advertisements, to your crappy product, and especially your irritating hipster/cooler-while-simultaneously-holier-than-thou attitude.

Hugs,

q.

*snicker

** I had always thought this was spelled ‘cattywampus’ but apparently no.

*** My breasts, while not perfectly symmetrical are absolutely not catawampus.

**** Yes, I’m perversely proud of this.

I'm a Terrible Person; Hoover Edition

Please note headline:
Dinosaur found with vacuum-cleaner mouth

Please note dinosaur's vacuum mouth placement in the accompanying picture.















*sigh* Sometimes it is a burden to have the mind of a 15 year old boy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sea Life Low Life

You're just a jellyfish,

slimy and spineless.

You wait by the kegs

to sting petty bare legs

and grab nubile asses.

You’re just a jellyfish in square black-rimmed glasses.


Just a little thing I've been working on.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

There goes my street cred.

1. Someone Googled "canadian hookers" and ended up here. How disappointing for them.

2. I wrote a poem last night. I am so embarrassed.
Sometimes I just write a poem, and they're always terrible. Ugh.
Oh and PS- it was about poultry.

3. Recently some friends asked me when the last time I had sex was. I told them it was so long ago that I couldn't remember.
I know this may sound nuts, but I really could live without them judging me. After their declaration that women who have sex on a first date are sluts, I would rather do without their censure or praise. I know that I am 'one of the guys' but how far will my gender amnesty extend?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Delighting the American Ferret Association

"The U.S. government declares ferret poop to be an effective weapon against drug abuse," the group said in a statement."
This news delighted the American Ferret Association."

Ways to fight drug abuse with poo:
Throw it at dealers.
Throw it at users.
Bury drugs in it.

Seriously? Yes.

Article:
The poop on where to hide your old pills

Via Jim.

Aside- Do we think that the AFA is made up of patriotic ferrets, or the people who love to live with smelly weasels?

Friday, November 09, 2007

And Quiana never ate an egg again.

My grandma calls today to tell me that she has pulled something in her hip and is immobilized at Ye Olde Schnauzer Ranch and requests my presence. I assume this to be because those hairy little bastards wouldn't wait five minutes before turning to her as a delicious alternative to their current dirt-clump style food. Or possibly to keep her company.

So to YOSR I will go post haste. And by post haste I mean Sunday. I just hope there's something left when I get there.

In other news, my Great Grandmother (who recently engaged in a 6 day hunger strike, in which she refused to eat foods that weren't Tillamook Butter Pecan ice cream and consequently spent nearly 2 weeks in the hospital, suffering from anemia and a bad attitude) is apparently getting more action than I am, as the frau we hired to forcibly bathe her (yes, against her will- hence the hunger strike) found a lump in her breast.

Now Great Grandma is insisting on elective surgery to remove the lump (the size of a AA large egg- no I am not kidding) from her breast. Because living with a less smooth and luxurious bosom is more important to her than the possibility of exceeding 95 years of age.

When I declared that I can't believe that we are allowing Great Grandma to alter her knockers for cosmetic purposes my Grandma declared, "Well, they're her boobs."
Thought I, "Well, they'll be completely lumpless, there in her casket."

Now I'm wondering why Great Grandma is nervous about her - no doubt knee-length- breasts having a nice consistency, it isn't like any of the old ladies with whom she boards are gong to be all honk-honk. *I hope.*

Furthermore, I wonder if our professional bather should be paying us. Either this egg-sized lump was easy to find or said frau was offering off the menu services.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A few of my least favorite things:

Doing things twice.

Being yelled at.

Running late.

Being told that another word for 'taint' is 'grundle' which is disturbingly close to my new favorite word, 'gruntle.'


Things that have occurred today. Sad panda.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sometimes the 1st Ammendment makes me hulk out

Have you guys been reading about the church in Kansas that is picketing service men's funerals because the military is too lenient towards homosexuals?

Some guy finally sued them for invasion of privacy and emotional distress. Good for him. I hope that the church doesn't win their appeal. There is a special place in hell for people who do evil in the name of the Lord.

It is just this kind of creepy and illogical fundamentalist thinking that makes me so very angry.

The whole thing makes no damn sense. Wouldn't you want more gays in the military if you were interested in them being shot?
Why would you picket a funeral of a dead soldier?
How is it even possible to be that big of an asshole? That ass must be HUGE!

These mysteries continue.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Random assortment of nonsense

1. Things googled yesterday that led to SUC:
'seattle awesomeness'
'beluga whale penis'
'bank of america clean sweep'
'hollywood erotic boutique seattle'
'ryan gosling chubby'

2. No more fives
I have decided that I will no longer be high or low fiving. No fiving of any kind for me.
I told some guy that 'I don't five' at the terrible costume party last Saturday and he couldn't have been more shocked.
So don't try to five me, for I will leave you hanging. That's just how I am.

3. Gruntlement.
It turns out that you can be both disgruntled and gruntled. Yes, I looked it up:" to put in a good humor"
Example: 'were gruntled with a good meal and good conversation', W. P. Webb.
I plan to use gruntle a lot, so gird yourself. Upon finding it in the dictionary I was most gruntled!

4. I've been working on writing songs lately, and when I look at them I always worry that maybe I'm stealing tunes or lyrics without even knowing it. Is it possible that my uselessly encyclopedic memory for all things musical (and usually terrible) is surreptitiously attempting to violate intellectual property law? Bad brain!

5. These are awesome stories, and don't worry, I've got millions of them. Millions. *sigh*

Monday, November 05, 2007

Tarnishing my hipster street cred

Today a NPR article reminded me of my secret shame... I have not seen the entirety of Donnie Darko. If anyone is up for terrifying bunnies and liquor, let me know.
Perhaps this can be the start of a 'I can't believe you've never seen that movie' movie night.

As the bacon turns

I thought I might catch my readers up on things afoot in the world of Quiana.

Friday night Steve had an *awesome* Day of the Dead party, at which my grandpa was representing the dead. I could picture him at the party, smoking a cigarette and drinking our expensive beer whilst grumbling, "God damned yuppies, where's the MGD?"
I had an awesome time and greatly enjoyed the liquid nitrogen ice cream and related frosty shenanigans. [Note to readers: if you want to be the coolest person at a party, bring liquid nitrogen.] We also watched the kiwi film, Black Sheep, about which I have extreme mixed feelings. Between the squeaking/eye covering and the tequila the film was a blur. A blur with lots of hilarious fake gore. Good times.

Saturday I went to a craft fair, coached my amateur robotics squad, volunteered for Citizens for Schools, and then attended 2 parties with my cousin Melanie. One party was the costume party I mentioned Friday. It was not our thing, so we cut out early to go to George's Guitar Hero party. I learned two things there:
1. Stuffed crust pizza is weird.
2. I need some practice at Guitar Hero before I attend another such event.
Melanie learned that not all of Quiana's friends are pretentious hipsters. Go team Comic Stop!

Sunday I had coffee with Steve then I practiced guitar hero with my cousin Sean for a few (try 5) hours, prepped to teach my tutoring kid about the French revolution, and watched half of the film 'KAW'. KAW=Blah.

That was my awesome weekend.
What did you guys do on your awesome weekend?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Weird Evite

I just got an evite with house rules listed on it, including that you must wash your hands after using the restroom.

1. That's crazy, right?

2. It is crazy enough that if my cousin didn't specifically create a costume to wear to this party, I could totally bail on it, right?

3. Does that make anyone else want to go to his house and take a huge dump and not wash your hands?

I feel like I'm going to a party at Monk's. And we'll just leave that message out when I pick up my cousin for the party. "Oh Melanie, please wash your hands ok?"

Hint Hint...

Things that I should email my hot dentist:
Accused dentist claims breast rubs appropriate

Favorite excerpt:
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Phillips gave Lew three new complaints, including one from a 31-year-old woman who said Anderson fondled her at least six times over two years.
The above is either the best blond joke ever or her dentist was hot too.

You may file this under:
-plots for 3rd rate porn.
OR
-the kinds of fantasies Quiana has while proofreading data.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloweeeeeeeeeeenies #1

Saturday Addy, Steve, Angie and I all attended Andrew and Angela's awesome Annual Halloween Bash.

Here are some pix:

Steve at Wendy's. As Wendy. The workers there were most tickled, but my inside pictures did not come out well.
















Speed hump ahead, 20 miles per hour! That's a lot of friction.
Pictured: Steve, me as Max from Where the Wild Things Are, and Addy as a sexy pirate. Ok fine, a regular pirate.

















Here you will see Angie as Britney Spears, Jess as a naughty nurse, and me.
















I believe RAWWWWR is the caption for this picture!
















Angie- note the amazing ink, done by yours truly.





















A bosom. Now pay me the $20, Steve.















Steve after a few beverages....




















Holy crap! It's my giant ass!





















The trouble with tribbles.
















Who's the real Max?
Option #1:

















Option #2:

I always feel like somebody's watching me!

And it isn't paranoia if it's true.

Here is a photo taken just minutes ago from my second story office window. They are nestled in the wisteria of the catwalk.
















No doubt my striped tailed stalkers realized they had been noticed and adopted Nature's age old trick, pretending to be asleep.
















I tell you that Nature is trying to stifle their opposition, starting first with public dissenters. My masked would-be assassins, 3 slumbering (or are they?!) raccoons are not the first.

Well, Nature, nice try. Just so you know, I sleep with one eye open and a loaded shotgun.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Eh. Whatever.

Sometimes we don't have all the right number candles to put on birthday cakes... so sometimes you have to read an equation.

As you can see below, the large '1' and '5' are actually 15. You will note the small '2,' small to denote a subtraction. So 15-2= 13.

















Happy 13th birthday, Sean. Now that you're old and all, quit picking bundt cakes for your birthday, Dweeb.

Happy Halloween!


















Watch out for Nature and its lurking!


My big Halloween plans involve leaving a small bowl of Canadian candy outside my door with a sign that says, "Please don't be an asshole." Kidding. I'm not leaving jack!

Instead Steve and I will be on the prowl for cool Dia de los Muertos decorations and such for his birthday party Friday.

Question: Is Steve the coolest person ever?

Answer: Not quite.

Clarification: The coolest person ever who looks like a muppet?

Answer. Sure.

Chi-Chi's of Terror

Here is a very short but interesting blog about abandoned Chi-Chi's Restaurants.

I have no idea why this fascinates me, but it does.

It may be that I like to say Chi-Chi's. It is my favorite restaurant named for euphemisms for breasts.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Domesticated," my ass

Cows attack dog walker in field

Excerpt:
"Mr Poole said he managed to escape when his Golden Retriever, called Zak, fled, distracting the cows."

'Man's best friend'? More like 'Man's Jerky College Roommate!'

In case of Nature attack my best friend would jump into the fray and risk life and limb, not run away like a total coward, right Steve?!


Right?


Darn it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Nifty Building

I am quite fascinated with the bizarre things that people do to attract business to buildings. Things like the stuffed elephant corpse on Aurora or giant food models on rooftops (I'm thinking Top Pot Donuts) are very interesting to me.

Rachel and Brandon took a picture of a ridiculous storage building that (as predicted) I think is fabulous- in its own way.





















I suppose having a distinctive front on your storage building would be the next advantage to location. Or perhaps I am just the sort of person they will try to attract with gimmicky store fronts and shiny things. Hooray shiny things!

Friday, October 26, 2007

New Idea for a Band Name:

Rumpus Room of Iniquity

Saw: Dr. Phil Meets Fear Factor

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Torture: Why the Saw movies are perfect for middle managers.

"For many, the most unbearable movie moment of 2005 was a woman's eye being plucked out in Eli Roth's Hostel. For me it was watching one of the New Kids on the Block and the star of Decoys 2: Alien Seduction debate the meaning of life in Saw II."

Interesting article if you are into- or not into- horror movies or specifically the Saw franchise.

SUC's Helpful Hints: Zombies in Plain English

Don't be caught with your pants down (*snicker*) during a zombie attack! Watch this informational guide to surviving an attack of the undead.


Thanks to Paul, finder of ridiculous internet ridiculousness.

Thought of the Day: Seattle Freeze?

Have any of you heard of the Seattle Freeze?
Apparently newcomers to Seattle are happy to find that we are polite, but notice that we are distant and hard to get to know.

I've moved here twice, and not noticed any chill. Perhaps that is a product of my general feeling blindness? Or my outgoing personality? If I want to hang out with someone I just ask, rather than wait to be asked, so that is probably a difference.

It has been asserted that it is our pioneer outpost mentality. Which I guess I can kind of see. The business of pioneering is in my family, so that does make sense. My some increment of greats aunt Kit came to Willamette Valley via the Oregon trail, soon my family even went further north to Fairbanks Alaska- can't get too much more pioneer-like than that.

Anyway, I'm starting to digress mildly, but where was going was that I took a class in college on the history of The West (you know... here) and in it we took a brief quiz and using our answers our professor guessed who was from The West and who wasn't.

One question was, "About a mile after the last exit leaving town your car breaks down, you have no cell phone, what do you do?" Two of us answered "Walk back to the last exit and get help." Everyone else answered on some variation on wait for help." The other person who answered hike back to a gas station was from California.

I've come up with a few reasons why Westies would walk:
1. We're dressed for it- especially in Seattle.
[Digression: Last night I was shopping at Ann Taylor with my friend Czabrina and she was looking at this kind of poncho-like sweater thing- you know the jackets with no sleeves- and it was very pretty, but I think I would look so dumb surrounded by women in trendy sneakers, NorthFace zip-front windproof jackets, and jeans.]

2. The next exit could be distant/how many people are realistically likely to pass?
It could be a while before anyone shows up to rescue you.

3. We aren't scared of the outdoors.
Westerners seem more interested in wilderness sports- we do have more actual wilderness, so we've spent more time out there.

What I'm wondering is: is the4th reason the pioneering spirit. That 'get up and do it yourself' attitude mixed with a little 'mind your own business' pioneer gruffness?
What do you think?

Honestly, I'd rather live somewhere polite and 'frosty' than somewhere rude and... uhm, whatever the opposite of distant and freeze-y is. Coming here from Philly, I am just happy that when you put on your turn signal people let you in, instead of speeding up.

More on Gonzales

I know that you're probably tired of Alberto Gonzales talk. But I'm not so...

What Lies Beneath: Alberto Gonzales' legal troubles may just be beginning.

Gonzales is likely to face criminal charges- not for stealing our rights and aborting justice, but for lying about it.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pushing Daisies















My other new show pick is Pushing Daisies. It actually makes me sad to think that anyone isn't watching this show. Watch this show!!

It is whimsical and funny, surprising and unique. The artistic design from costumes to sets, is amazing. I am not used to seeing something this well put together on network television.

Pushing Daisies is about a man who can bring things back to life by touching it, the rub is that if he touches it again, it will die forever. The other trick is that he can't cheat death; if he doesn't touch the living creature twice, some other creature (of equal value) will die. He makes a living making delicious pies and solving crimes. Pie and crimes! Delicious.

[Holy crap, my computer is playing another brick in the wall again today. It sounds like I'm going through that Floyd/Zep phase all boys go through.]

Where was I? Oh yea, pimping Pushing Daisies. If you liked Wonderfals you will *love* Pushing Daisies. [Speaking of which, did I loan you my Wonderfalls DVD set? If so, return it to me so I can loan it to someone else.]

Just give it a shot.

The Lovely Bones, the Movie?

WWTDD.com has a post up about Ryan Gosling being let go from a movie for either getting too fat or artistic differences... hmmmm I wonder which....

Anyway, I couldn't care less if Ryan Gosling is chubby, but I was most shocked that the movie was the film adaptation of The Lovely Bones. This was hands down the most well reviewed book that I have ever hated which wasn't written by Maria Dhavana Headley.

The Lovely Bones was an emotionally manipulative little book about a girl who is raped and murdered and watches her family cope while learning to deal with her attack and subsequent death from a sub-area of heaven specifically for this purpose. I believe I hated it because it was boring, trite, ultimately pointless, and did not fulfill the potential of the story. Too slow to be a thriller, not mysterious enough to be a mystery, not clever enough to be a crime novel, but just right it you liked to watch Touched by an Angel, Cold Case Files, or Pretty Woman.

Chikan!

More about Japanese inventions designed to avoid (important and needed) conflict:
Cell Phone Message Warns Train Gropers
The application flashes increasingly threatening messages in bold print on the phone's screen to show to the offender: "Excuse me, did you just grope me?""Groping is a crime," and finally, "Shall we head to the police?"

Pardon me, but is that your hand on my thigh? Squeeze twice for yes, once for no.

Train Gropers or Chikan are actually a HUGE problem in Japan. Of course my solution to this issue was to yell, "Everyone please look at the pervert!" or to figure out who it was and grab them with my long dagger-like finger nails and whisper menacingly, "Touch me again and you won't get that hand back."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Nerd Crossings

Today I read on Wil Wheaton's blog (see link over yon ---> 'my hero') that he has been cast to portray 'Miles Sklar' on Numb3rs. Is it too nerdy to stay home on a Friday night to watch Wil Wheaton appear on a TV show where a math professor who solves crime? Or is it just nerdy enough?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Finally some news you can use.

How To Fight Monkeys
(There is an ex-boyfriend joke in there somewhere... I just need to find it.)
An instructional guide on how to protect yourself from the attacks of Nature's Favorite Poo Throwing Henchmen via Slate.

A Quiana created summary of the advice:

Advice the first:
"If you are holding a snack, throw it in their direction, and they'll stop bothering you."
This will also work with angry Quianas.

Advice the second:
"To diffuse the situation, don't make eye contact or smile with your teeth showing—in the nonhuman primate world, these are almost always signs of aggression."
This can also be true in the human dating world.

Advice the third:
"Form an "O" with your mouth, lean toward them with your body and head, and raise your eyebrows. "
This will also work in the human world.

Advice the fourth:
"Female victims might seek protection in a group of men, since monkeys are somewhat afraid of males."
Possibly because they leave the toilet seat up. Even monkeys don't like chilly surprises in the middle of the night.

Monday, October 22, 2007

No shame here!

If you are not watching America’s Most Smartest Model you are missing out on the best thing on TV.

Example- The models were playing a trivia contest in which if you got a question right you got a rice cake, but if you got it wrong you got a piece of chocolate cake. The look of horror on the faces of the contestants as Ben Stein read the nutrition facts aloud was the best thing ever in the entire universe. You couldn’t pay me to eat a rice cake and the chocolate cake looked mighty tasty.

I compel you to watch America’s Most Smartest Model! The way the people interact is fascinating and bonus: they cry when you make them eat cake! Delicious cake!!! It’s crazy!

Oh Japan. Oh J.K. Rowling. Oh dear.

Here is an article about people using soda-machine camouflage to hide from imaginary would-be attackers. More pics here.

Somewhere in my brain are some well thought out paragraphs about what it means for a culture to be so terrified of conflict that ninja-like camouflage could possibly be needed in a country with virtually no street crime.

In other news of the unnecessary, J.K. Rowling attempts to give her hastily written and poorly conceived book series greater depth. This blogger says too little too late.

Dumbledore gay? Dumble who?

Look Rowling, you could have bravely put better character development into the latter half of the Harry Potter series, but you didn't. I'm still unhappy with you and the elaborate paper weights on my book shelf. Do not insinuate yourself so deeply in popular culture and write early books so compelling that I am forced to read War & Peace sized abominations for years. I think I hate you. Just a little.

Animal Noooz











First off, this is a baby beaver. Insert crude humor ___here___.

In other news:
Man puts puppy in pants and slips off
Exactly what it sounds like....

And in Nature Fear Mongering News:
Flaming squirrel ignites car in Bayonne
"The squirrel chewed through the wire, was set on fire, fell down directly to where the car was," Tony Millar said. "The squirrel, on fire, slid into the engine compartment and blew up the car."
Amusing Excerpt:
"The Millars' home is decorated for Halloween, complete with a tiny plastic tombstone on their front lawn. Tony Millar said the family will consider dedicating the tombstone to the squirrel, who was not named."

Friday, October 19, 2007

America's Poor: Totally Screwed

Living paycheck to paycheck gets harder
An interesting article about people who are living hand to mouth.

I guess what I'm getting out of this article is that the rich get richer, and the poor skip lunch. Like some cute modern version of how when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

I am a little worried, not for myself- I've been in much more impoverished circumstances, but about America's so called global-dominance crashing down around our ankles, hobbling the poor. I worry about women on their own with kids and no diploma to prop them up. The elderly with no children who can help them. Migrant workers with no laws to protect them.

Things that make me irrationally angry

1. Applebees

As mediocre as Friday's but less iconic!

2. Loud sneezers

It is like they are trying to impress you.

3. Junk mail from charities

Please give us money! Here are some mailing labels. You can put them in the drawer with the 3 million other mailing labels.

4. People who carve their pumpkins in the first week of August and leave them out to rot before Halloween

Hey kids, wanna see something spooky? Mickey Mouse's face is melting off!

5. Re-explainers

You see, first you breathe in, then out. First in then out. Make sure to breathe in and *then* out. Do you understand?? In then out. Get it? Let me put it a different way.

6: People who say questions with no intent of hearing an answer?

You know what I mean? You know what I'm say'n?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Small Thoughts for Small People i.e. Me.

I recently noticed my ex is going bald. Teehee.

Today I indulged in an elaborate fantasy that involved yelling at one of the attendees of my software training and him bursting into tears. His tears were delicious.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ambush!










On Monday evening I drove over to my uncle's house to make robot team plans do something cool and when I arrived there was a murder of hundreds of crows perched around the house. In the street, in the yard, in the trees, in neighbor’s property, there were a LOT of crows; a screeching sharp-beaked blanket of filthy black feathers. Someone had tipped them off. I suspect my phone is tapped.









Naturally I pulled my car over far up the street content to bide my time and make a plan to get into the house.









I considered and discarded plans involving honking my horn, doing donuts in lawns, and calling the house to let the dogs out. I decided to pull into the driveway in order to force the crows to tip their hand. Some of the crows flew to the trees, but a few stubborn crows continued to wait for me in the lawn, sharpening their beaks and mocking me with their throaty caws.









Suddenly, no doubt using some sneaky secret crow signal they took to the air, perhaps to pester some small child or to feast from an open dumpster. I waited until the coast had cleared and skittered into the house, slamming the door shut behind me.