Monday, October 30, 2006

Apparently, I'm addicted to internet challenges.

I signed up today for the Slate Green Challenge, which is billed as "a straightforward program to evaluate and reduce your carbon emissions between now and the end of the year" and is presented in partnership with the extremely content-dense, eco-friendly Treehugger is looking to add writers, which made my heart sing until I saw that they're only looking for people to write about cars & transportation, science / technology / gadgets, and architecture / "home." I might email them anyway and ask if they need anyone to do any "reuse" articles. I'd love to do something based on reusing non-recyclables as craft supplies or constructing a wardrobe almost entirely from thrift store purchases (eco- and socially-friendly, as buying secondhand doesn't put any money into sweatshop economies).

Then again, I don't have the time to properly read Treehugger, so I don't know when I think I'm going to have time to write for it, even if they did on some snowball's chance actually express interest. And let's not even talk about those other projects I'm supposed to start in two days, or the book blog and self-assigned reading project I've been pitifully neglecting for months. (Never fear, book fans...I'm fully prepared to include badgerbooks in the NaBloPoMo project, so when I can't come up with anything to say here, I'll post a book review over there.) Finally, I already spend way too much time on the internet, so it's probably best not to add another research-heavy online endeavor.

To awkwardly segue back to the original topic, I took the initial Green Challenge Quiz to determine my estimated annual carbon usage. It was really simple, and didn't require as much guesswork / semi-informed calculation as most of the "What is your footprint?" quizzes I've taken in the past.

I found it irritating that the quiz didn't include "I don't have a dishwasher" as an option for the "dishwasher use" question. There was no dishwasher in the house where I grew up (still isn't one), nor was there a dishwasher in any of the three apartments I've lived in since I moved out of my parents' house. Small potatoes, but it's a bit unfair to assume that everyone who might be interested in taking the quiz has a dishwasher.

I found this somewhat disheartening: "I choose paper over plastic—-which means that I'm actually causing more atmospheric pollution, not less." I am ridiculously dedicated to asking for paper bags over plastic at the grocery store, because I always believed they were better. I'm still not convinced I'm entirely wrong, because paper sacks can be readily recycled and plastic sacks less so. Where we live, paper sacks can be put out with the curbside recycling to be picked up by the bi-weekly city-provided recycling trucks, or taken to the recycling center at the nature preserve. Plastic sacks can only be recycled by dropping them off at Wal-Mart or at a local grocery store, and a friend who used to work at the grocery store says that those bags often ended up in the Dumpster anyway when she worked there. Then again, in my heart I know I should haul my vast collection of reusable canvas tote bags to the grocery with me. Lord knows I have enough of them.

Here are my results:

Your annual carbon emissions are 11,411.32 lbs.

That's equivalent to the emissions from 1.12 passenger cars.

Average carbon emissions per year, per person:
United States: 44,312
Qatar: 117,064
France: 13,668
India: 2,645
Kenya: 440

Week One:  Transportation

I didn't score very high on the first quiz, because I'm trying to be honest, and the only thing I could honestly say I will actually not flake out on is to check my tire pressure once a month. I also semi-cheated and said I'd forego two 1.5 hour flights this year, which is easy since the flights in and out of Seattle were the first ones I'd taken since 1999, and are likely to be the last ones I take for the next few years. "Your score is 845, which means you've promised to take the annual equivalent of 0.09 cars off the road." According to the results page, "Keeping your tires properly inflated saves about 250 pounds of CO2 a year."

Week Two:  Heating

Again, not doing too great. "Your score is 800, which means you've promised to take the annual equivalent of 0.08 cars off the road." I got somewhat screwed because we rent. We can't caulk, weatherstrip, add insulation to our walls and ceilings, or add storm windows. I agreed to turn the thermostat down 2 degrees during the day over the winter, which should be pretty easy. We'll also be wedging a blanket against the base of the sliding door again this year, to stop a draft that's strong enough to make the curtains move in the breeze. Gah.

The challenge lasts for 8 weeks, and this week is week two. You can start at any point during the eight weeks, too, which is cool. I'll probably keep track of my quiz results with a weekly update post...which takes care of six NaBloPoMo obligations right off the top. Score.

I wish I could claim the credit for finding this:

...but all the props for finding a pattern to make a knitted trilobite go to Evil Ducky.

I wish I had the uterus and occasion to wear this shirt.
(click & then scroll down)

Just finished: Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner. I highly recommend it.

Reading: Jorge Luis Borges for school.

Playing: it cool.

Friday, October 20, 2006


I've been blogging for a year today, and reached the goal I'd set of 100 posts.

Unfortunately, that's all I have time to say, because it's 1:35 and we have to be at the airport by 3:00 with our overloaded suitcases in tow, and we still haven't had lunch. So the big Why I Blog and What I've Learned navel-gazing stuff will have to wait until MB and I return from our trip to Washington.

We'll be back on October 29th, and I hope there will be lots of great stories to share.

Thanks for reading, anyone who does...


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Today is my little sister's 20th birthday, so it's time for...

Ten Reasons Why My Sister Rocks

1. She's studying to be a math teacher. She's brilliant and could do just about anything, but she's going to use her smarts and her talents and her enthusiasm to teach kids.

2. She's one of the most grounded people I know. Even as a little kid, she was very confident and self-aware, and happy to go her own way instead of constantly trying to be "popular" or "cool."

3. She's very kind and caring.

4. She constantly surprises me, whether it's with her writing or her perception or just by being thoroughly herself.

5. Her belief in me makes me strive to be a good person. When I see her looking up to me, even now, I want more than anything to live up to her expectations. From an essay I wrote for a class in January of 2004: "My sister recently read The Odyssey in her 11th grade honors English class, and had to write an essay about a modern hero. She wrote her essay about me, and so a few months ago I found myself sitting in my parents’ living room, learning how I was like Odysseus, except more wise and considerate. I really didn’t want to get teary-eyed, so it was a bit of a struggle. After all, we’d just spent the two weeks that she was studying The Odyssey making fun of how often Odysseus and his men weep throughout the story. I didn’t want to end up weeping large tears as the rosy fingers of dawn once again swept over the horizon."

6. I think she's the reason--at least partially--that I've been responsible and generally a good girl for most of my life. I was never pressured to be that way, but when someone as good-hearted and full of love and downright adorable as my sister is coming up behind you, it makes it a lot easier to be a good role model. She was the kind of kid that anyone would be proud to have looking up to them, if that makes sense.

7. She's funny and fun to be around.

8. She's strong and independent and thinks for herself.

9. We are extremely almost eerily similar in many ways, and yet she is and always has been very much her own person.

10. I find that I look up to my sister in many ways. Another piece of my essay: "She may be younger, less experienced, and someone I feel that I need to look out for, but she’s also the person in my life I most want to grow up to be like. It’s kind of funny how it worked out, but I guess that’s the essence of never quite get what you expect."

Happy Birthday, Little Sis...I hope you had a fantabulous day and kicked butt on your calc test! I love you!

Reading: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Playing: Secret Samadhi by Live

Packing Report: It's definitely time to panic.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pack That Ass Up

T minus...something like 39 hours until we head for the airport to begin our Washington adventure. As far as I know, MB has not yet secured us a ride to said airport. I hope he remembers to ask our friend R tomorrow.

We borrowed two big suitcases to use in addition to our two carry-on suitcases, and it's not looking so good for space.

I'm about halfway through my packing list, and here's the status report:

I'm not sure how I'm supposed to fit this guy in on top of all the clothes I need:

Once I figure out the clothes thing, I've got to fit all of these books into my backpack, along with my writing notebook, my purse, CDs, and a sweater...

Maybe I should find another suitcase to borrow.

Aim for the head!

Back in April, I joked about getting zombie-themed gear for a friend's baby. Enlisting the aid of R and his mad drawing skillz, I actually managed to pull it off. Custom zombie baby gear:

(Please don't thieve the pic. If anybody likes the stuff,
I'd be more than happy to set up a CafePress account
to spread the zombie baby love.)

Epic Battle

The panic moths are ready to rumble with the giddy butterflies in the cage match of my insides. I'm beyond excited about the trip, but OMG...what if I forget to pack my underwear? Or the map to the wedding site? Or my dressy clothes? And OMG! Flying! Airports! Luggage! Security checks! Feline criminal mastermind home alone 23 hours out of the day for 7 days! Did I mention the flying? ACK!

Reading: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Playing: the soundtrack from The Last Samurai, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road by Lucinda Williams

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

9.8 meters per second squared

I had some kind of crazy-ass dream this morning. All I remember is seeing something sort of running at me, like some kind of cat - to - raccoon - sized animal. I lifted my foot to kick it away.

And the next thing I know, I'm awake and falling to the floor. I must've kicked myself right over the edge of the bed.

That's right. I fell out of the bed. Full on, crashed to the floor, fell out of the bed.

What am I, six?

It was a long way down, too...our bed is kind of high. I hit the floor pretty hard.

My first thought was "BWWWAAAAHAHAHAHAA! I just fell out of the bed!"

My second thought was "WAAAAAH!!!" I think I must've hit the bed frame on the way down, because the back of my right hip and the side of my leg were throbbing all of a sudden.

Then I sort of went back and forth between laughter and whining.

The cat came in to see what the racket was all about, looking all suspicious and semi-menacing until he saw that it was just me, being a complete dumbass.

MB slept through the whole thing, even the part where I crawled back into bed, whining because seriously? OUCH. OUCH OUCH OUCH. It was one of those insidious pains that didn't hurt at all at first, and suddenly was really, really insistently there. I may have even whimpered a little. I know, I know...but being a badass is hard when you've just woken up in mid-plummet from your yard-high bed and your cat is looking at you quite smugly and your husband is not awake to give sympathy.

I guess I could've kept this whole thing a secret, and he'd never ever know that his wife is a huge spaz. But I tell him everything, and besides...falling out of the bed, at my age? Absurd comedy gold, right? And I was going to spill about the whole thing on Teh Internet anyway.

It wouldn't be funny if I'd hit my head or broken a bone or--God forbid--landed on the poor cat. But since I didn't, it's pretty damn amusing.

Also amusing:

"Return to honor: Billy the goat stands on parade with the troops of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh, near Limassol, Cyprus. Billy was reinstated to the rank of lance corporal after an impeccable parade performance, following a demotion in June after his poor display ruined a parade to mark Queen Elizabeth II's birthday."


According to the Agatha Christie-izer, my NaNoWriMo novel should be called "The Secret of the Accursed iPod," or maybe "The Evil Unknown Mineshaft." Brilliant.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Thank Heavens for the Internet

I talked briefly with my friend KW today on Google chat (which totally rocks my socks). I asked her what kind of weather MB and I should expect in Washington next week, and mentioned that we'd be spending one day on the coast. She asked where we were planning to go, so I told her that I really wanted to go see Point of the Arches, which seems to be a somewhat obscure destination. I only knew about it because I stumbled across it on some internet site a few months ago.

I attempted to find a good website to link her to, because I wanted her to see the sea stacks that made me want to visit that spot in the first place.

Instead, I found this site, which offered this information about the trail down to Point of the Arches: "Preview: A 13.4-mile backpack from Ozette Lake to the north end of Shi Shi Beach. This route covers a wild and beautiful stretch of coastline north of Ozette Lake. There are some steep climbs aided by fixed ropes near Will Point. The former northern access to Shi Shi Beach is no longer open to the public, so travelers to Point of the Arches must count on returning by the same route that they came."

26.8 miles round trip with "steep climbs" that require "fixed ropes"? I like adventure, but not that much adventure.

I'm thinking this might be more our speed:

Third Beach

Ecosystem type: Coastal Forest and Ocean Beach
Trail tread types: Well maintained
General elevation trend: Flat
River crossings: None
Unique features: Ocean views, sea stacks (offshore land formations). There are excellent opportunities to view bald eagles and seals, and bird life is common on sea stacks. Whale migration occurs in March/April and October.
Level of difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.4 mile

And look! Sea stacks!

This? Is awesome.


How to Build a T-Rex

Tyrannosaurus Samson

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Raise the stone and you shall find me;
split the wood and I am there.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Hero of Canton...the man they call Jayne

All right, be honest...does anyone else hear this song and think of this
one instead?

Because when Breaking Benjamin are singing about the diary of Jane, I can't help but wonder what this guy would put in his diary.

I usually don't like to talk about work...

But this is too awesome not to share.

I ran an event for kids in grades 1 - 3 tonight. Early in the evening, they had an inside lesson about going stargazing and what constellations and stars they can see in the fall. I showed them several, including Cassiopeia the Queen and the Summer Triangle. At the end of the evening, they got a chance to go outside and look at the stars through telescopes. I asked some of the kids if they could find the Summer Triangle, and they did. Then, as I was getting ready to leave, one of the little girls suddenly exclaimed, "Look! I see the queen!"

She'd found Cassiopeia all by herself.

Today was really, really, really stressful trying to get ready for the event. I was at work for 13 hours and didn't even have time to eat lunch. But in that moment, when she found the constellation, it was all worth it.

(the Pleiades)

And while we're talking about things that are amazing, go check out the Hubble Telescope site. Incredible, mindblowing stuff.

And once again, I'm completely stark raving mad.

I agreed to do NaBloWriMo, even though I already signed up for NaNoWriMo.

*cue desperate, hysterical laughter*

Reading: Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

Playing: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road by Lucinda Williams

Friday, October 13, 2006

Half-Assed Reality Show Recaps

America's Next Top Model

I haven't watched this week's yet, but I watched last week's. I'm really, really starting to like AJ. Michelle and Amanda's photos continue to be stunning, but they both have the most gangly walks. Even though she won the first catwalk challenge, I still think Melrose's walk is ridiculous. I was sooo glad to see bitchy Monique go home. I really thought that tippy catwalk was a little extreme, though. Someone could've actually been hurt. I sort of felt the same way about them having the girls walk in heels on the cobblestone patio. If one of them had broken an ankle, that would've been some crap.

Project Runway--the Reunion

Vincent = TOOLIO TOOLIO TOOL. Crazy ass tool.

Keith = a bigger ass than EVER before. "It wasn't in the contract. Oh, wait. The books magically reappeared in my room. Uncomfortable, isn't it?" What-the-fuck-ever. Best related quote: "Tim asks Keith if he thinks the outcome was fair, and he says that we can see in face and eyes that he's upset. ["Which we couldn't, really, because he's a sociopath, but okay, Keith." -- Sars]" (Television Without Pity)

Laura & Heidi were just about the cutest pair of pregnant ladies in the universe.

I loved the portions where they'd show clips of people saying a certain phrase or whatever. Laura's was "serious ugly," Robert's was "boring." Tim's "big words" thing was funny, but I was a bit concerned about the designers. I'll grant that I didn't know what faux bois meant, but caucus? consternation? Dude, please. Laura went to Columbia. I hope she at least was unfazed.

I think the best part of the entire reunion show might've been the Bradley clip segment, aptly titled "????" and showing him making odd noises. I love Bradley.

Also, Michael won the Fan Favorite contest, so all was right with the world for the week.

Project Runway--Finale, Part One

I'm not sure how I feel about the whole scandal that's brewing. I heard rumors ahead of time that Jeffrey was going to be accused of outsourcing some of his work. Knowing that, I could sort of see how they chose certain shots to amp up the showing Laura's reaction to watching Jeffrey pull out his pieces, and watching Jeffrey hunting "suspiciously" for his receipts. I'm a dork, so I've actually been thinking over this episode since I watched it. Here's what I've come up with. I figure there are a few options:

          (1) Jeffrey cheated.
               (A) His receipts will prove without a doubt that he cheated.
                    (i) Jeffrey's an idiot for not paying cash and destroying the evidence. He deserves to be disqualified.
               (B) His receipts show nothing.
                    (i) Jeffrey deserves to be disqualified, but shouldn't be, because there is no proof.

          (2) Jeffrey didn't cheat.
               (A) His receipts are not in order because he lost a few.
                    (i)If Jeffrey is disqualified because of suspicion of cheating + receipts not in order...he should've been more careful, knowing that the show would be collecting the receipts. BUT I don't feel like this is definitive proof of him cheating.
               (B) Nothing is proven.
                    (i) Jeffrey stays in, but only after the show tries to stir up as much drama as possible.

The preview clip clearly was trying to indicate that something bad happens. Tim Gunn mentioned investigation and said, "but unfortunately..." and then they cut to Jeffrey crying on Uli's shoulder.

Someone I know said that she feels like Jeffrey's reaction didn't indicate guilt. She pointed out that he's usually more cocky and fuck-you about the stuff he does. He seemed genuinely shocked and upset by the accusations. Then again, so did Keith, and he was obviously in the wrong.

I feel like he should not be disqualified unless there is incontrovertible evidence against him. If there is anything less than that, then it's too much of a risk. I don't like Jeffrey, but I know that if I was accused of lying or cheating and didn't, I would be completely outraged. Also, I know it's just a TV show and who cares, but for the people on the show, it's not just a show. It's a big damn deal.

All that said, I don't think badly of Laura for making the accusation. She seemed to really believe something fishy was going on, rather than shit-stirring just for the sake of shit-stirring.

I'm interested to see how it all plays out.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Oh, how I wished I had a camera phone... when I saw these two signs. You'll just have to believe that I am NOT making these up.

#1  On the sign board outside my general practitioner's office, where the medical study firm that shares the building posts the topics of its current research:

"Gental Herpes Treatment"

If I had herpes in my ladyparts, I guess I'd want them to be gentle (har har), but I'm not sure I'd want treatment from a doctor who can't spell.

#2  On the sign outside the public elementary school near my parents' neighborhood:

"Scool Board Meeting Thursday Oct. 20"

Damn, I'm glad I went to Catholic school all of a sudden.

The Fickle Public

Love 'em, hate 'em...all in the span of a day.

Love: This morning, I went swimming with my sister on campus, and then drove her over to the education building so she could meet up with her math study group. She told me that the campus children's center's annual book fair is going on this week, and that they had a paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for $7.99. No way was I saying no to that!

I got my copy and went to the table to pay, and found myself in line behind a dad with two little boys, maybe 2 and 4 years old. All three were dressed in jogging pants and hoodies. I ended up walking behind them all the way through the parking lot to my car, too, and they were so cute. The dad ended up carrying the littlest boy and holding the older one's hand, and the whole way, they were talking and laughing. It made my heart happy, and made me remember this excellent, sweet entry from Purple is A Fruit that I read yesterday: "Fleeting"

Hate: (Well, maybe not hate. But seriously, seriously dislike): People who stand WAYTOOCLOSE to me in line at the store. What is up with that shit? I fully admit that I have a larger personal bubble than most, and I also have longer hair than most, but I firmly believe that if I could flip my ponytail and hit you in the face, you're TOO FUCKING CLOSE TO ME. Jesus H, people. My HUSBAND doesn't stand that close to me in lines sometimes. It's most uncomfortable when men do it, but women do it more, and old women disproportionately so. It's not like we're in line for the last piece of food or roll of duct tape on the eve of the apocalypse. The cashier is still going to be ringing people up after the two milliseconds it would take you to step from a decent distance behind me to the position of the person being checked out once I'm gone. Back the hell up.

This involves a bat in someone's house and made me laugh my ass clear off my body:

Please go read it right now, unless maybe you're at work and people might hear your ass fall off and hit the floor.

A Series of Unfortunate Conversations

This also made me laugh and laugh:

"Me So Aerobic" by Y of Joy Unexpected.

Excerpt:  "I may as well have worn a blinking sign on my ass that night. THONG FEAST IN PROGRESS. HAHA PRETEND YOU DON'T NOTICE. THANK YOU."

A low-calorie-ish snack that actually rocks:

I'm usually vastly disappointed by lower-fat versions of regular snacks. Baked Doritos? Meh. Not terrible, but not great. Baked sour cream & cheddar Ruffles? Okay, but not as good as the original.

These things, however, are awesome:

They taste a lot like my much-mourned, no longer manufactured, favorite crunchy snack of all time, Planters Cheez Balls. (moment of silence...)

Because I find it amusing as hell that there is a site that reviews snack foods, here's a link to the Cheetos Asteroids review.


more Brevity by guy & rOdd

This is one of the spiffiest websites I've seen in a long time:

Have you read the ass-loss-inducing bat blog yet? Why not??

READ IT. Please. For the children.

Reading: Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

Playing: Lay It Down by the Cowboy Junkies

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Love is a happy time all throughout the Universe.

It's when a male part of the species goes to the female part of the species and says, "Hey, do you wanna go on a date?" And then she would say, "Why, yes, I'd like to go on a date," if you're lucky. And then, they'd go to a restaurant, and she gets something called a salad, and then he gets a big piece of beef that he eats.

Love is also when the female part of the species says, "Hey, look...the phones are havin' fun!" and the male part of the species says back, "Ha! Phone sex!" Because you were thinking it, he was just saying it.

And then it's him flipping one phone around and saying, "Call this one 'Star 69'" after you take a picture of the first staged piece of phone porn.

Love is also a ginormous mug of hot chocolate, made because I had to stay up late writing my freaking Kafka paper and I was cold. MB makes the best cocoa in the whole world. He calls it "cool cocoa," not because it's chilled, but because it is the shiz-nite (as he might say, though thankfully not often). Apparently he makes it the way his mom makes it. All I know is that it involves a little bit of milk added to the Swiss Miss and water, and also that it is the best damn cocoa EVER. Better than Starbucks. Better than at my favorite local coffee and donut shop. I could be cheesy and say it's the love that makes it good, but I'll tell the truth:  as with all of MB's recipes, it's the cruelty, malice, and will to dominate all life*  that make the difference.

(Note also the stack of books waiting to be reviewed on badgerbooks & the fact that I'm only on page 2 of my 9 page paper even though it's already 8:32 PM.)

Love is also apparently taking me seriously when, while in the throes of paper woe, I whine at 8:30 or 9:00 PM that I really want a box of Dots (P.S. the Tropical ones are NASTY.), to the point of turning it into some kind of gelatinous Grail quest the next day.

I called MB around 3:20 this afternoon with a question, knowing he'd been off work for 20 minutes and figuring he'd be home. He was at the grocery store, looking for Dots. I thanked him for his devotion, but told him not to worry about it, since I knew that particular store stopped stocking Dots a few months ago (bastards).

He called me back around 3:50, from a different grocery store, still bereft of Dots. I told him, seriously, don't worry about the Dots.

Not one to give up a gelatinous Grail quest, MB persevered. He called me back at 4:30. Five stores down the line, he'd scored a stash. SWEET.

I think I'll keep him.

And that, to me, ladies and gentlemen... is love. Kinda makes you cry, doesn't it? --Brak

Reading: Y: the Last Man

Playing: Lemon Parade by Tonic, No Angel by Dido, Bringing Down the Horse by The Wallflowers, Book of Secrets by Loreena McKennitt

P.S. I can hear the cat snoring somewhere in the room. I wish I could record and post the sound, because it is HILARIOUS.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

In which some things rock and some things suck

Rock:  Fruity Cheerios. Like Froot Loops, but better for you. Like Trix, but not nauseatingly sweet. SO GOOD.

Suck:  Getting fanged in the finger when a cute game of cat-in-the-grocery-sack goes a little too far. To make it worse, it was really really cute and funny until the moment he bit me through the paper sack.

Rock:  Mr. Kitters, because it wasn't his fault, and who could stay mad at this?

Rock:  In 14 days, we're leaving for Seattle. In 16 days, we'll be here:

In 21 days, we might be here:

Suck:  In 14 days, we're leaving. OMG. Need suitcases! Packing list! E-tickets! Raincoat for MB! Nice clothes for wedding! Hiking boots that won't give MB blisters the size of my pinkie toe, like he got when we hiked Wesser Bald in July! Ack! Ack! ACCKK!

Rock:  In 16 days, this could be us:

Rock the hell on.

Edited to add: In general our new upstairs neighbor is a vast improvement over the somewhat loud & trashy chick who lived there before. But who the fuck does building improvements on their balcony with a hammer and nails at 12:30 in the goddamn morning? Obviously we're not asleep...but what if we were? I'm pretty sure our friend R's two toddlers, who sleep in the room RIGHT NEXT TO Upstairs Neighbor Guy's balcony, are in bed by now. What is wrong with some people? Gah. Also, he really needs to stop dropping his cigarette butts onto our porch. If you're too lazy to flick them far enough to clear the porch below, then stay inside. Asshat. Otherwise he seems like a nice enough guy. But I'm seriously over the cigarette butts.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A spousal interaction:

MB: *tugs VBG's ponytail*

VBG: Please stop pulling my hair.

MB: *tug*

VBG: Stop pulling my hair!

MB: *tug tug tug*

VBG: Dude. Stop it, or I'll punch you.

MB: *tug tug tug tug*

VBG: I mean it.

MB: *tug tug tug tug tug*

VBG: *punches MB in the shoulder*


VBG: I warned you to stop pulling my hair, didn't I?

MB: But I like you.

VBG: Honey, you're twenty-five. You can just tell me I'm pretty.

MB: Oh.

This cannot be normal.

Normal may be highly overrated.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I think my eye just twitched a little...

Parent criticizes book Fahrenheit 451

"A Caney Creek High School dad is fired up because the Conroe Independent School District uses the book Fahrenheit 451 as classroom reading material.

Alton Verm, of Conroe, objects to the language and content in the book. His 15-year-old daughter Diana, a CCHS sophomore, came to him Sept. 21 with her reservations about reading the book because of its language. ... Alton Verm filed a 'Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials' Thursday with the district regarding Fahrenheit 451, written by Ray Bradbury and published in 1953. He wants the district to remove the book from the curriculum. ... 'It's just all kinds of filth,' said Alton Verm, adding that he had not read Fahrenheit 451. 'The words don't need to be brought out in class. I want to get the book taken out of the class.'

He looked through the book and found the following things wrong with the book: discussion of being drunk, smoking cigarettes, violence, 'dirty talk,' references to the Bible and using God's name in vain. He said the book's material goes against their religions beliefs. ...

Fahrenheit 451 is a science fiction piece that poses a warning to society about the preservation and passing on of knowledge as well as asks the question about whether the government should do the thinking for the people, [Chris Hines, CISD assistant superintendent for secondary education] stated in an e-mail to The Courier. Other themes include conformity vs. individuality, freedom of speech and the consequences of losing it, the importance of remembering and understanding history and technology as help to humans and as hindrances to humans (emphasis mine), Hines stated in the e-mail."

In a way, I suppose it's positive that the student felt free to express her disagreement with the book. But I firmly believe that banning Fahrenheit 451 would be a disservice.

Reading: Fahrenheit 451 (Damn the man!)

Playing: Lay it Down by the Cowboy Junkies

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pure, Unadulterated Panic

I just checked the word count on a 68-page piece I wrote for a class in college.

15,312 words.

Sweet Fancy Moses.

I am screwed.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mail Makes Kitties Happy

A few weeks back, I was trying to find a photo of Mr. Kitters's favorite treats so I could illustrate an entry about how said treats are like Kitty Crack. I didn't find a photo (and never wrote the entry), but I did find a site where I could sign up for a free sample of the treats.

Since free is ALWAYS good, I signed up. One of the blanks asked for the pet's name, which I thought was sort of cute. Once I submitted the form, I pretty much forgot all about it, until today when the mail arrived.

Today we received a padded mailing envelope addressed thusly:

"TO: Mr. Kitters--Ocean Fish Feline Greenies

c/o Velocibadgergirl
Badgercity, state etc."

And they didn't just send a sample packet like the ones we found at PetSmart for 99 cents. Oh no. They sent the regular-sized five-dollars-at-PetSmart bag. It's like Kitty Christmas up in this house.

It might be a coincidence that the cat's mood has vastly improved since yesterday...but then again, it could be the Kitty Crack.

Mail Makes Girls Happy, Too

At least it does when it includes $5 clearance T-shirts from Hot Topic.

But Sometimes, Mail Sucks

Like when it's a "Fabulous Furs" catalog, and I'm dialing their 1-800 number and preparing for a righteous take-me-off-your-mailing-list-you-dirty-furmongers shitfit when I thankfully notice the teeny tiny subtitle: "The Finest Faux Furs." Hissy averted, narrowly.

Luckily, Mail Is Often Funny Enough To Make Up For It

For example, when it includes an invitation to a Halloween party that goes like this:

          You Are Invited!
          For:  Halloween Party
          Date:  Nov. 3rd
          Time:  7 PM
          Place:  EvilDucky and Mr. EvilDucky's House
          Given By:  See above
          RSVP:  Sure, why not.

Reading: Y: the Last Man. I'm not usually a big fan of graphic novels, but I read the first collected volume of this at Barnes & Noble a few months ago and really liked it, so I got the 2nd and 3rd books from the library today.

Playing: Eve 6

Peace returns to the realm...for now, anyway.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What do you think the odds are...

that this house:

(a) structurally unsound
(b) chock full of lead paint and asbestos
(c) haunted ?

And if a, b, and c are all false, then what are the chances that we could afford to buy it and also afford to hire my contractor cousin to help us fix it up?


Obviously it needs a lot of work. The red carpet is horrendous, this bathroom scares me, and the mirrored backsplash is so fugly that it's probably illegal in at least three states:

But look what it once was:

Think of what it could be someday...

In truth, it matters very little at this point, since we're not in a position to buy any house, let alone one that needs months if not years of constant, expensive TLC. Daydreaming about once-gorgeous, possibly haunted houses beats doing my homework, though. When I read Faulkner, it makes me want to grasp him firmly by the shoulders and then shake him vigorously while shouting, "Embrace the period as a punctuation mark! The full stop is your friend, William!" Then I want to tell him, "Also? Personal pronouns are great, but when there are four males in a story, you cannot refer to a somewhat peripheral character as simply 'he' and expect me to be able to differentiate which 'he' you're trying to indicate."

Accomplice...or is that accessory?

Someone I know asked me if I'm interested in buddying up for National Novel Writing Month, to keep each other motivated and accountable. I agreed. I'm both excited and worried that I'll fail spectacularly.

Call the Cat-Whisperer

Today the cat hissed at and slunk away from the visiting BoMB* for no apparent reason, even though he'd watched, unfazed, as BoMB walked right by him a few moments earlier. He also yowled at, shrank from, and growled at MB this morning. I have no idea what's gotten into him, and I'm a little bit worried. Even weirder, when he seemed frightened of MB this morning, he let me pet his head to comfort him, and I'm usually the first one he bites when he's in a snit. I hope he's just in a weird mood and that things are back to normal tomorrow.

Reading: Go Down Moses

Playing: Godsmack

*BoMB = Brother of MB