Sunday, December 31, 2006

Randomized:  the Official List

Sticking to my promise to choose a cool blog from the Randomizer for each day in December turned out to be pretty easy. I had a harder time remembering to go back and check the blogs I chose, so I decided to throw them all together in a big list so that I can find them at will. So, here goes:

lots and lots of nonsense (who just had a darling baby boy!)

Playing School, Irreverently

Travels with Smacky

Simian Farmer


Life in the 'shwa

Radioactive Jam (there's still space for takers in the traveling journal project)

Table 144 (It's a girl!)

Innocent Bystander

Hollywood Flakes

Emotional Toothpaste

eats bugs

what's new, pussycat?

Peevish Pen

I Heart Farms



Blogapotamus Rex


Ninja Poodles!

Clare's Dad

RD Mama

quaking aspen

Heather Nicole

Wannabe Hippie

50 books


Writing Aspirations

so anyway...

The Random Muse

Officially a Mom

I suspect I might add other watchable randomized blogs to this entry from time to time, so please feel free to browse the list anytime! :)


Ramblings by Alyndabear

Inner Non Sequiturs

Shhh! Librarian-in-Training!

Repressed Librarian

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Best Recessional Music Ever

The bibliophile and I went to a college friend's wedding this afternoon. It was a very pretty wedding, but when the recessional started, I nearly got the church giggles. The bride and groom--both devoted sci fi fans--had chosen "The Throne Room" from the Star Wars score. It was brilliant.

The Best Christmas Cookies Ever

baked by the apathetic one:

Top:  dinosaur sprinkles
Bottom:  cow sprinkles

Cutest Rule-Breaker Ever

Mr. Kitters doesn't have very many rules to abide by in the apartment, but we're strict about not letting him walk around on the stove (for safety) or the countertops (because paws that walk in the litterbox + food preparation surfaces = YUM). After the Thanksmas Eve party, nearly every dish we own was dirty, so I used the counters on either side of the sinks to lay out the plates to dry after washing them. I put the plates away yesterday, but left the towels they'd dried on in a pile to one side. Mr. Kitters decided this would be a good, cushy spot to take a nap:

He was so cute and rumpled and I'm such a pushover that I didn't even scold him. No wonder he knows he's in charge.

Best (Faux) Engagement Photo Ever

Go here.


          50 Books


          Writing Aspirations

          so anyway...

          The Random Muse (go here for "Martha vs. Spanx")

          And, for tomorrow: Officially a Mom

Just Finished: book 8 of Y: the Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra. I'm bummed, because it's probably going to be months until the next collected set of these comes out, and I'm dying to know what happens next.

Reading: The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson, Haunted Indiana 2 by Mark Marimen (just not right before bed)

Playing: rock playlist on mpMonster

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Dead Reckoning

Linda over at All & Sundry posted a cool end-of-the-year meme, so I'm going to do my best to complete it. Also, go here and check out the obscenely large waves she photographed. My tiny Midwestern mind is officially blown.

On with the show!

1. What did you do in 2006 that you'd never done before? -- went kayaking (three-part summary of the class I took)

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? -- In the interest of being honest, I'll list / evaluate my 2006 resolutions, as written out in my paper journal last year:

          >>Spend more quality time with MB -- I did pretty well with this one, other than during November, when I spent all my free time working on NaBloPoMo.

          >>Play with Mr. Kitters more often -- I don't think I did as well with this one as I should've. There were a lot of nights when he asked for his feather toy and I made excuses and didn't get it out. I need to work on this in 2007.

          >>Keep the apartment more neat / clean -- off and on, I succeeded at this. Right now, the place still looks great, since I power-cleaned before yesterday's Thanksmas Eve party. I'm hoping I can make it last at least a week.

          >>floss -- I'm not too good with remembering to floss my teeth. 2006 did not really change this, sad to say.

          >>exercise -- um...not so much. I was pumped for 2007 because I signed up to take a six-week kickboxing workshop starting next Tuesday, but today I found out the class is probably going to be cancelled because not enough people signed up. BOLLOCKS.

          >>waste less food -- We seem to be throwing less food away out of the fridge each time I clean it out, so I'll take that as a good sign.

          >>set up one day a week to spend with Little Sis -- until our schedules got wonky for the holidays / finals, we'd been swimming laps together on Thursday mornings. Since I won't be going to kickboxing (*sob*), we'll probably start that again in the second week of January.

          >>work hard at my job -- definitely fulfilled this one

          >>keep in better touch with friends -- I actually have made some progress with this, aided (shamefully) by MySpace and (much less shamefully) through their blogs.

          >>be better about spending / saving habits. I was doing pretty well before the holidays hit. I'll definitely be keeping this one on the 2007 list.

          >>clean up spare room -- our second bedroom is basically a catch-all storage room, and it's usually a disaster. It's been 90% cleaned up once or twice this year, but I can't really claim success since it's currently in a complete disarray.

          >>get wedding pictures printed and into scrapbook -- HA!

          >>print digital pics and get into albums -- DOUBLE HA!

Seeing how crappily I did overall, I think I'm going to plan on keeping these resolutions around for another year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? -- yes

4. Did anyone close to you die? -- no

5. What countries did you visit? -- does Kentucky count?

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006? -- more self-discipline

7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

          April 23--my first real whitewater kayaking run, where I was able to overcome my fears and have a pretty kickass time

          June 3--the wedding of one of my best friends, H, to her long-time girlfriend, C. Her closeknit family was 100% supportive, and it made an already-great wedding even more beautiful. I almost lost it during her dance with her dad, because he was so happy and so proud, and it didn't matter at all to him that she was marrying another woman.

          July 1 & July 2--my second whitewater trip, where I learned that my fears can still rule me, followed up by one of the most punishing and most rewarding hikes of my life

          September 30--Danger and I went on a vastly spur-of-the-moment road trip about 3 hours north and back in one night, to pick up some boxes of books that were needed for an event at work the next day. We had a blast, and I can't think of a better partner in crime for an adventure like that.

          October 20 - 28--pretty much the entire trip MB and I took to Seattle and Olympic National Park. It ROCKED.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? -- finally getting a grownup job, and working hard to be good at it

9. What was your biggest failure? -- probably my lack of follow-through on personal goals, like those unkept New Year's resolutions

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? -- nope! other than a few colds and one fanged-finger incident

11. What was the best thing you bought? -- maybe my new favorite shirt, which I got at Goodwill

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? -- I guess the cat gets props, because he left last year's upsetting streak of aggression behind and once again became the sweet little furball that I know and love (well, 95% of the time, anyway)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? -- I found out in May that the worst coworker I've ever in my life had the displeasure of working with had tried to sabotage my chances of getting my new job, basically out of spite. When I found that out, I was absolutely floored. Knowing that I busted my ass when I worked with him and did everything I was ever asked to do and treated him with common decency even though he was a human find out that nearly TWO GODDAMN YEARS LATER he was still trying to stab me in the back? That was horrifying. And sort of bitterly funny since:  A. my real boss at the former job wrote me a letter of recommendation for the job anyway B. I got the job and got really good reviews there and C. the backstabber has since been FIRED from the place where we worked together. Karma's a bitch, ain't it, shithead?

14. Where did most of your money go? -- the biggest one-time expense was our fantastic trip to Seattle / Olympic. We also sunk a large chunk of change into reducing our credit card balance, which is awesome even though we don't really have anything tangible to show for it.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? -- visiting the temperate rainforest in Olympic National Park and teaching kids about science at my new job

16. What song will always remind you of 2006? -- I'm drawing a complete and total blank on this one.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
          a) happier or sadder? -- either about the same or happier
          b) thinner or fatter? -- fatter, for sure :P
          c) richer or poorer? -- richer, though only slightly

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? -- exercised!

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? -- slacked

20. How will you be spending Christmas? -- we spent it with family and friends

21. Did you fall in love in 2006? -- just more in love w/ MB (cheese, cheese, cheese...I know)

22. How many one-night stands? -- hee!

23. What was your favorite TV program? -- Project Runway

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? -- nope! I am remaining mostly hate-free!

25. What was the best book you read? American Gods by Neil Gaiman

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Flogging Molly

27. What did you want and get? -- mp3 player (for Christmas)!

28. What did you want and not get? -- smaller but still-healthy boobs, a bookcase, and a bedside lamp

29. What was your favorite film of this year? -- I don't remember everything I've seen this year that was new, but I found The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada both enjoyable and surprising.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? -- My birthday was way back in March, and I turned 25. On my actual birthday, I took the night off work but ended up cleaning out our closet instead of relaxing. Woo! Party animal! I didn't really do much of anything, until Danger and I had a co-birthday party in early May (her birthday is on Earth Day).

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I guess it would've been nice to have finished NaNoWriMo, but I'm not that broken up over it. I would have liked to have spent more time with my parents, especially my dad.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006? -- thrift store / clearance rack office-appropriate pseudo-grownup

33. What kept you sane? MB, my friends and family, music, time spent in nature

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? -- I developed a late-in-the-year crush on Garrett Hedlund. Also had a hot dream about Heath Ledger.

35. What political issue stirred you the most? -- gay marriage bans, and they did not stir me in a good way

36. Who did you miss? -- friends who live far away

37. Who was the best new person you met? -- they aren't really "new," but meeting some of my internet friends at the wedding we attended in Seattle was absolutely incredible

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006. Having a job that you love and which feels like you were born to do it is nearly priceless.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

          This could be the very minute
          I'm aware I'm alive
          All these places feel like home

          With a name I'd never chosen
          I can make my first steps
          As a child of 25

          (Snow Patrol, "Chocolate")

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Thanksmas to all, and to all a good night.

Tonight was the 3rd (or maybe 4th) annual Thanksmas Eve holiday party. It was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. The spread was amazing. I should've taken a picture to preserve the scrumptiousness for posterity. The company was even better. Sadly, N & J and C & her husband J missed the party this year, but H & C from San Francisco were in town and made it to their first ever Thanksmas bash. Woohoo!

Thank you to all of our fantastic friends for such a great year, a great history, a great night. I love you guys!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Where are my damn sugarplums?

It's been a very good Christmas, despite the fact that I dreamed about trying to outrun a nuclear holocaust with my sister in tow yesterday afternoon. Don't know what that was all about.

We had a very nice visit to MB's homeland, a great Christmas Eve with my extended family and my parents / sister / sister's boyfriend, and spent most of today hanging out with my mom while MB played one of his new PS2 games and I worked on beaded snowflake ornaments until my eyes crossed.

(They're not quite finished, so they still sort of look like leggy spiders. I made 15 of these pointy little buggers.)

We slacked apallingly in the photo-taking area, so the only Christmas pictures (other than shots of our tree) we have so far this year are some of Kitters checking out his stocking loot this morning:

When I was a kid I'd always write long, detailed diary entries about all the presents I got for Christmas. I'll spare you that, other than to say that if we happen to get snowed in (unlikely), we'll be totally set for DVDs to watch (and books to read). I also have to mention the kickass toy MB got for me. He totally rocks the block, because he got me an mp3 player! This is especially awesome since my 11-year-old Panasonic portable CD player finally croaked two weeks ago (( moment of silence )) The mp3 player is quite wee and cute. My first objective is to find some kind of extremely durable plastic case to keep it in when I carry it around so it doesn't get damaged, because I'm terrified I'm going to smash the thing. Or drop it, since I drop EVERYTHING and have actually nearly dropped it about five times just today.

I'm immensely, immensely amused by the player's online persona of a little animated monster:

MB digs all of the stuff I got for him, which rules since he can be kind of hard to buy for sometimes.

I'm a little bit sad that Christmas is nearly over already, because it feels like winter just started about 2 minutes ago, but that's how it goes. Besides, there's still Wednesday's Thanksmas Eve party to look forward to :D


          quaking aspen

          Heather Nicole

          Wannabe Hippie

Just finished: book 7 of Y: the Last Man

Reading: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Playing: rock playlist on my mpMonster

Friday, December 22, 2006

How Do I Love Him?

Let me count the ways.

I baked cookies for MB today, because he was really REALLY bummed when he found out that all the cookies I made last weekend at Danger's were already handed out and / or eaten. I had to go to two different grocery stores in crazy-ass traffic to get all the ingredients I needed. That, ladies and gentlemen, is love.

This shouldn't really be that big of a deal, because seriously, Toll House cookies, whoopdedoo...but for me it kind of is a big deal because other than slice-and-bake, I've actually never made cookies on my own before. LAME, right? I don't really have any good reason for never having baked by myself, and now I've done it. And it was totally easy, too, so I'll probably do it again soon.

I also met him for lunch at work today because it was my day off. Traffic was HELLACIOUS and there was an accident right in front of me and sort of because of me and it freaked me the fuck out. Basically, I stopped short of blocking an entry drive so a guy in a big SUV could turn left across my side of the highway into a parking lot. The Mac truck next to me also stopped short to let the guy turn, so he turned, and then this other SUV came flying up in the third lane (which I think is a turn lane) and they totally smashed into each other. I was two lanes over and have no idea if the second SUV was where he was supposed to be or not, so I wouldn't have made a good witness. I felt sort of like it was my fault, even though that's dumb. I sort of felt like if I'd just been an asshole and pulled up and blocked him from turning, the wreck wouldn't have happened. Gah. Sure made me feel crappy, anyhow.

I love him, but I'm still going to rat him out for this...

Because it was funny. I was reading Noames, and MB saw the drawing she'd made for a carved menorah. MB said, "What is that?" and I said, "It's plans for a menorah." He said, dead serious, "What the heck is a menorah?" So I told him...after I laughed hysterically and asked him how it was possible he'd never heard of a menorah. I swear, he's a brilliant, brilliant guy. But occasionally I wonder...

The payoff is sweet.

I still work one shift a week (or sometimes every other week) at the record store, even though I have a "real job" now. It's super easy and usually somewhat fun, and it's totally worth it to keep my employee discount, which I used today to buy four used CDs that I've been wanting, for a grand total of 22 bucks. Rock. On.

I find this insanely hilarious:

I have no idea if Mr. Kitters will actually like it, but I couldn't pass it up.

That's about all I've got...

Tomorrow morning we're leaving for MB's homeland to celebrate an early Christmas with his family. We'll be back up here Sunday for the annual Christmas Eve get-together at my aunt's, followed by present exchanging with my parents, my sister, and my sister's boyfriend and then midnight Mass with my dad. Merry Christmas, everyone! Here's a photo of the cat in the entertainment center:


          Ninja Poodles!

          Clare's Dad

          RD Mama (check out the anatomically correct gingerbread)

Reading: book 6 of Y: the Last Man

Playing: Open by the Cowboy Junkies

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

So, you know those lists people have?

The ones where they pick the five celebrities they could shag without their spouse getting mad, knowing full well they'll never meet them so it would never be an issue?

I totally don't have one of those lists.

But if I did, this guy would so be on it:

Because, ya'll?

Holy shit.

Of course, I'm only kidding. MB is the only one for me, and he also rocks the scruffy hair and tall dark skinny angle. But hey...I had a very friendly dream about Heath Ledger once, so maybe there's hope ;)

Speaking of MB...

Here's a story about how he got his hopes dashed in a somewhat hilarious manner. I received my Secret Santa gift last week, and it turns out that my Santa Sender was one of the two fabulous Canadian girls on my internet board. Since I love chocolate, I often receive chocolate as part of gifts. MB does not like chocolate. The other day, I was sitting in the living room watching TV, and MB was at the computer desk. Suddenly he said, "Heeeey..." and I heard a rattle. My Secret Santa had sent me two boxes of Smarties, and MB had discovered them. "Finally, something I can share!" MB exclaimed with joy. Unfortunately for him, there was a problem.

U.S. Smarties:

Canadian Smarties:

I warned MB that in Canada, Smarties are pretty much just like M&Ms. There was a very dejected "oh" and the clatter of the Smarties box being hastily tossed aside. Poor MB...once again foiled by his snackfood nemesis.

I think it's interesting that in the U.S. we make a big deal about the green ones, but on the side of my Canadian Smarties box, it asks, "Do you eat the red ones last?"
(Perhaps the red question is answered here.)

Also, this is really cute:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Things That Are Good

1. C's wedding was fabulous and quite a bit of fun was had by all. My bridesmaid's dress fit and I got to have pretty hair.

2. Today is BoMB's birthday. Happy Birthday! :D

3. Jenn at Breed 'em and Weep won a 2006 Weblog Award for Best Parenting Blog, despite some trashtalking and namecalling. Give her a read if you never have, because it was a deserved win.

4. Found four shirts at the Salvation Army today. Hooray!

Things That Are Done

1. Christmas cookies are made, courtesy of a day of baking at Danger's house. Yum.

We used my grandma's recipe to make date & nut skillet cookies. They were SO much easier than I thought they'd be to make.

Toll House cookies with Danger's alterations. Super tasty.

Yum and more yum.

2. Nearly all the presents are bought and wrapped. Now I just have to hope that Kitters stays out of them until Christmas.

3. Went to see Eragon with Mom, Little Sis, Danger, and Danger's husband. It was better than the reviews said it would be. It wasn't awesome, but it was pretty good. They left a lot of stuff out, which is inevitable when a somewhat long book gets condensed into two hours of screen time. There didn't seem to be any gratuitous additions of plot elements, which was nice. The dragon effects were pretty cool, and the guy they cast as Murtagh is completely crushworthy:

Things That Must Still Be Done

1. Christmas cards addressed, signed, stamped, and sent. Oy.  Done, as of 12:16 AM. WOOT.

2. 12 beaded ornaments assembled by the 27th, not yet started.

3. Apartment thoroughly cleaned before the 27th, when our closest friends will descend for our annual Thanksmas Eve holiday party.



          Blogapotamus Rex


Reading: book 6 of Y: the Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra

Playing: country playlist on the computer

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Velocibadger Family:   Doing Nothing to Bring Sexy Back

I babysat Danger's niece and nephews last Friday and woke up a few days later with another gross-out snotheaded cold. Then I recalled that the kids had been sort of sneezy and coughy that day. And let's be this time of year, preschoolers are basically walking, talking, really cute petri dishes in which to breed more germs.

Just as I was about to kick the cold, MB came down with it and became snotheaded and coughy and miserable.

Then the cat upped the ante with a crusty, runny eye. He comes down with a case of kitty conjunctivitis at least once a year, and luckily the last time we took him to the doctor for it, his wonderful vet told me to just hang on to his eye ointment so that we wouldn't have to bring him in for future flareups. This is great because it saves us time and money and, most importantly, saves Mr. Kitters from the most hated indignity of his life--having his temperature taken. According to a very brief Google search, conjunctivitis in cats can be caused by viruses, and sometimes cannot be cured, only controlled. I stopped researching there, because usually online articles about pet diseases end up very grim and doom-and-gloom, and I'm happy to just keep believing in the healing power of his eye ointment as long as it continues to work.

As a grand finale to all this massive attractiveness, I wore a sweater today which, on its own, is very cute, but when worn does a great job of washing me out and a really bad job of hiding my damn muffin top tummy roll. I spent most of the day hiding in my office, and did a lot of obsessive sweater-fluffing when I had to venture out into more public areas of work. HOTT!!


Danger and I went out to lunch today, and as we were driving back from picking up our sandwiches, "All Because of You" by U2 came on the radio. As Bono sang, "All because of you...all because of you, I am," I realized a bit idly that it was an immensely fitting song, since Danger was one of two people who leaned on me to apply for the job that I have now, the job that has begun to define my path in life and made me understand what it means to strive for a career that you love. All the more fitting, I received the official job offer call while I was in St. Louis, a day after seeing U2 in concert. Just as I opened my mouth to point this out, I realized something even more odd / cool:  that call came exactly a year ago today.

Later today...

A very dear friend, known to you as That Chick Over There, is graduating. I am so proud of her I could just pop. She's graduating with a 4.0, even though she worked full-time the whole time she was working on her degree and she's got the most polite, wonderful, bright, fabulous, well-raised twins to boot. Oh, and she started a Brownie troop on top of it all! She kicks ass! For such a rock star, only the most fan-fucking-tabulous graduation congrats would do, so I'm posting two such items in her honor:

"The best graduation photo ever."

Congratulations, sista-Ho! Enjoy your big day!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

At nearly the same time That Chick is graduating, my darling old roomie C. is getting hitched. Congrats and love and remember to breathe! And if that "challenge" the preacher kept talking about at the rehearsal tonight does turn out to be an obstacle course after all, don't worry--I've got your back. And I bet the bibliophile will even hold our bouquets for us while we complete the course.

"Love doesn't just sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; re-made all the time, made new." --Ursula K. LeGuin

Randomizing: scripturient, because his kid has conjunctivitis, too.

Reading: Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

Playing: The Roots by Chris Thomas King

Friday, December 15, 2006

Because nothing says Christmas like a flying pig.

Muchas gracias to the most fabulous evilducky for the festive new décor. I said, "Do you think it would be possible to make a banner using that photo I took of my pig ornament?" and like fifteen minutes later, she emailed me four different pig banners to choose from, all awesome. As a bonus, only one is overtly Christmas-ey, so I can use the wintery one after Christmas and save the other two for later. So happy Christmas, everyone! Consider these halls decked!

Vote for Jenn! Vote for Jenn again!

Voting on the blog awards is still open, and you're allowed to vote once every 24 hours. Please vote (again) and help Jenn take home the prize!

All shook up.

Last night I was en route to meet Danger for chai when my mom called. "My poor little car!" she cried as soon as I answered. "My front fender is all smashed up!" She's okay, my sister is okay...the car will be okay. They were driving home from shopping, down a busy four-lane street that is pretty notorious for accidents. Mom & Little Sis were in the right lane in Mom's little Cavalier. Some college guy in a big SUV was in the left lane and turned right to park in some angled spots along the side of the street, and pretty much turned right on top of Mom because he didn't check his blind spot and she was in it. After it happened, he tried to sort of insinuate that she'd come up on him from behind after he'd started turning, and then to say he was straddling the lane line, that he'd just swung wide to park when she'd hit him. Except Mom's skidmarks showed that she'd been squarely in her lane when the accident occured, and it was pretty obvious that he'd hit her and pushed her car around at an angle as he turned.

Everyone was okay and the guy wasn't an ass about it other than not wanting to admit what he did and the cops came and observed the skidmarks and could tell what happened. Mom vented and we laughed about it and everything was fine. On the way home from the bookstore where Danger and I get coffee, I always go right through the intersection where the accident happened. I saw the skidmarks, and even though I knew my family was okay, seeing the marks and knowing that my Mom's car had made them felt like a punch to the chest. I guess it hit me for a second just how quick something potentially tragic can happen. Obviously we can't go around every day thinking about all the bad things that could happen to our loved ones at any point, or we'd be such neurotic messes that everyone would have to stay home with their heads under the covers. I don't really know where I'm going with this, other than to say maybe it's not a bad idea to phone your mom and tell her you love her, double-check your blind spot, and watch out for other drivers...just in case.


          what's new, pussycat?

          Peevish Pen

          I Heart Farms

Reading: Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things, still

Playing: blues mixes & Christmas music

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pretty please vote for Jenn

Jenn over at Breed 'Em and Weep is up for the Best Parenting Blog of 2006. Even if you've never read her blog, trust me: It's really, really good. Plus she's nice, and she's funny.

So please, pretty please, take a few seconds and go vote for Jenn. It would so rock if she won. Voting is open until the 15th, so send all your blog friends! You can vote once every 24 hours if you're feeling especially helpful.

Happy Birthday, MB

Today is MB's birthday, so instead of blogging about him, I'm going to go hang out with him. Happy birthday, love!

Happy Birthday, also... my favorite otaku.

Blogger Beta, I'm gonna knock YOU out.

Blogger Beta has apparently decided that my password is not acceptable, so if you've switched to Beta, I've probably tried to comment on your blog about five times today, only to be cruelly rejected. M, I was allowed to comment on yours only as Anonymous. Sorry about that. Sasha, your blog completely shut me down and left me out in the cold. Sorry extra (but welcome back! Yay!).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"Tis the Season to Be Scared Witless"

Scared of Santa photo gallery

(link filched from

If it's wrong to love this, I don't want to be right.

A Call to Action

I searched for a link to a gallery of comically ugly Christmas sweaters and could not find one to share. So, if you have a link to one, please let me know. Even better, if you own a comically ugly Christmas sweater, please take a photo and email it to me (velocibadgergirl at hotmail dot com) so I can start a gallery. Tell all your fugly-sweatered friends, too!

This really has nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas.

(nicked from Bathtub Adventurer)

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?

You will be sucked dry by a leech. I'd stay away from swimming holes, and stick to good old cement.
Even if it does hurt like hell when your toe scrapes the bottom.

Take this quiz!


          Hollywood Flakes

          Emotional Toothpaste

          Eats Bugs

Reading: Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. Lunch breaks have been short for the past week or so.

Playing: KJ's Christmas mix CD

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Just now, I went into the half-bath to get something. I was walking kind of fast, lost in thought, and as I rounded the corner into the darkened bedroom, something came looming out of the bathroom doorway at me.

I thought YIKES! and jumped back about two feet.

Then I saw this, right at head level:

I'd been sneak-attacked by a ginormous Spongebob, left to dry by our friend R, who was down earlier to do his laundry. How embarrassing.

I wasn't going to post this, but...

It turned out kind of cool (stolen from the bibliophile):


          Table 144

          Innocent Bystander

Reading: Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

Playing: a mix CD from my Secret Santa :D

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The gods wanted me to go to Goodwill.

I went out on the thrift store circuit today, in search of some items for a Secret Santa gift I'm putting together. While I was at my favorite Goodwill store, I decided to check and see if they had any shirts that I could get for work. I picked out about ten to try on and scored a dressing room right away. Sweet...usually you have to wait for 10 or 15 minutes. When I went in, I saw that someone had left jeans piled all over the bench. Nice, new-looking jeans. Mall-brand jeans. And they didn't look tiny. Barely daring to hope, I pawed through them, tossing aside the 4/5 pair and the size 6, and found a pair in the pile that fit like they were made for me. My one pair of jeans that still fits well is starting to get a little frayed, so finding another pair that fits = awesome. Especially since they cost $5. One of the shirts I tried on actually fit and looked decent. I poked around a bit more and ended up finding a pair of really nice black pants for work and a pair of carpenter jeans for MB. :D

Since the shoe section is near the jeans section, I gave the shelves a quick look, even though I never find shoes that fit my big wide Hobbit feet at resale shops. Never, that is, until today...behold, the $3 ballet flats of wonder!

Since I have a few friends who have kids and / or are pregnant, I poked through the baby clothes bin, too. I found a few outfits to send to a friend, and then I found a few things that I'm going to hang on to for future badger spawn, because they're just that cool:

As icing on the cake of a successful shopping trip, the clerk--who was totally the kind of girl I think I'd date if I dated girls--only charged me 10 cents for each baby item, and 30 cents for the adorable pair of rainboots I bought for someone whose initials are WXY (and whose mama appreciates a bargain, so I don't have to feel bad about revealing the Rainboot Miracle).

After I left Goodwill with my amazing haul, I went to one of my least favorite thrift stores. I chose it because of its proximity to Goodwill, and it turned out to be a lucky move. It's a really overpriced store, which is annoying, but they have piles and piles and piles of junk to dig through. The layout of the building is really weird. I don't know if it used to be a house or what, but you totally have to wind around through all these little rooms and hallways and more rooms. But there are no windows, which is really strange. It feels like a giant maze, and no matter how much cool stuff I find, I constantly find myself thinking about how if there's ever a fire in there, most people probably won't make it back through the maze in time. On especially claustrophobic days, I have to resist the urge to weave through the place while shrieking, "We're all going to die!"

I lucked out today in that not only was there not a fire, but I also stumbled across a whole row of baskets full of great items for the secret santa gift of mystery. I also found this wacky thing:

I don't know if it shows up well enough to tell, but it's this tiny, incredibly delicate woodcarving inside a shadow box. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but I couldn't pass it up.

Then I drove home and found my parking lot swarming with firefighters. There were three trucks plus the chief's car and maybe even a rescue truck. No one stopped me from taking my stuff and going inside, so I guess there wasn't any real danger, but it was kind of unnerving and interesting all at once. I unfortunately have no idea what happened, but it sure made for an interesting arrival.

And finally, with no further's evidence of a squirrel kegger gone way over the line!

Or maybe it's just a lampshade lying on the lawn.

Week Seven:  Water Works

Congratulations—you have taken the Week Seven Action Quiz. Your score is 286, which means you've promised to take the annual equivalent of 0.03 cars off the road.

">>The average American household expends about 14 percent of the energy it uses on heating water. That adds up to nearly 4 percent of the country's total energy use and spins off about 260 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

>>According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, Americans with inefficient fixtures and appliances use about 80 gallons of water per person per day inside their homes.

>>Showers account for two-thirds of all water heating costs. The shorter your shower time, the more CO2 you'll save.

>>Which is more efficient—you or the dishwasher? Machine bests man in this debate: Hand-washing uses an average of 10 to 15 gallons of water, while automatic dishwashers use about 8. If you don't own a dishwasher or need to wash pots by hand, don't let water run while you're scrubbing."

I pledged to boil only as much water as I need when making tea or cocoa, and to only run the dishwasher when full, which is sort of cheating since we don't have one. But they don't give you any option for that. I did NOT pledge to keep my showers under ten minutes, because GOOD LORD. That's just crazy. Have you seen my hair? My hair alone takes at least 10 minutes to wash and condition and rinse.

I also promised to buy an Energy Star dishwasher and a water heater without a tank if we have to buy either in the next year.


          Life in the 'shwa

          Radioactive Jam. Check out this awesome traveling journal project he's planning. There's still space for more participants to create their own pages (*NUDGE NUDGE* THAT CHICK...ahem), so go over and sign up in his comment section.

Reading: Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

Playing: a brand-new Christmas mix I made for my friend KJ...don't tell her, because it's a surprise ;)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Some early-morning randomosity

That Chick Over There pointed me to the spiffy photo card store Purple Stork, because her lovely children are featured on a card they chose for their gallery.

While I was there, I found what I think may be the best holiday card ever:

This family just seems like they must be fun. While many parents would freak the hell out if their kids "ruined" a photo shoot so thoroughly, these people just turned it into a funny card. Well played!

Edited to add:

As if to prove my point about how fucking weird our upstairs neighbors tend to be, I just looked outside and discovered that there was a damn lampshade in our backyard. Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. I tossed it over the fence, as always, hoping our landlord will see it and realize that some of his tenants are jackasses who throw their home furnishings into other people's yards. I tried to take a picture of it for posterity, but the camera battery needs to be recharged.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Still Weird

I've been tagged by the fabulous Miss M for the Six Weird Things meme that I already did. Inspired by the good sportery of the mutiply-tagged Megs, I'm going to attempt to come up with six more weird things about myself.

1. I almost never finish what I'm eating. 99% of the time, I leave at least one bite of whatever it is untouched. Sometimes I stop because I'm full, and sometimes I stop because I tend to get sick of the taste of things and need to stop eating the item or I'll start to feel like I'm going to yak. Sometimes, though, I just feel this weird compulsion to not eat the last bite. It's almost like a tic or something. Very strange. It both annoys and mystifies MB.

2. I quite frequently contruct elaborate but absurd revenge fantasies. For example, when our former upstairs neighbor, she of the trashtastic lifestyle, used to throw cigarette butts all over our yard--along with empty pop bottles, cigarette packets, and assorted toys from her kids--I daydreamed about collecting all the trash she and her many guests threw down and leaving it in her mailbox. The day I went out and collected a whole plastic shopping bag full of trash from our grass and flower beds, I had to almost physically restrain myself from hanging it on her fucking front door handle. And on the all-too-frequent occasions that our somewhat more tolerable but still weird new upstairs neighbor blasts his R&B or rap just a little too loud, I have visions of cranking up some bagpipe music as loud as I can stand one morning right after MB leaves for work at 6:15 AM. I still think fond thoughts about leaving a food-coloring-laced banana in the break room at work to ensnare the person who stole my banana nearly a year ago (and various other foodstuffs from other people through the months; we have a suspect but no proof).

3. Despite my great talent for thinking of sarcastic and mean things to do to people who wrong me, I am in reality a big huge wuss and will do almost anything to avoid confrontation or to not risk pissing the neighbors off (because they're probably way less classy than me, and they totally know where I live). I will cop to pitching a cigarette butt back up onto the upstairs neighbor's front steps a few days ago, though. I'm so sick of him dropping them onto our stoop, and on the day of the Wal-Hell / rental car incident, I snapped a little.

4. Even though we've only ever printed about 7 test photos from the thousands of digital shots we've taken over the last two years and haven't put a single one into a photo album (including our wedding photos...sorry, Mom!), I am uber paranoid about losing our pictures. Before I can bring myself to delete them from the hard drive, I have to upload them to winkflash and burn copies of them onto two separate CDs.

5. I have a skull collection, and one of the craft projects on my to-do list is "mount rabbit skeleton in a shadowbox." I display the skulls on a bookshelf in the living room. "Skull Collection" is one of my blog tags on Technorati.

Edited to add: Today I found out that the skull I thought came from a coyote (the third one) actually belonged to a red fox. Somehow, that's even spiffier. (01/13/2007)

Edited again: Today I realized that this list only has five items on it. So #6 clearly needs to be "I have trouble counting to six." (02/04/2007)

I am tagging: Anyone who sees this and hasn't been tagged yet, but wants to do the meme. If you're feeling friendly, leave me a comment with a link to the reasons that you're weird.  :)

Randomizing: Whoopee

Also, the Simian Farmer totally got caught: "Just as we finished supper...Amy turned to me with a wry expression on her face and said: "So, uh, 'BANG!', Simon." Busted."

Reading: Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. I finally got to start it today after two days of being shut out of lunchtime reading by work circumstances. When I saw in the flap copy that the last story in the book was a novella starring Shadow from the superb American Gods, I decided to read it first. It did not disappoint.

Playing: Cake

Still Smiling Because: one of the volunteers at work bought gorgeous glass Christmas ornaments for all the women on the staff. I was included, even though I've only met the giver once or twice. I got this very handsome cardinal:

He's totally not something I'd pick out for myself, but I love him.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I totally stole this Soundtrack to my Life Movie meme from Isabel. If you want to play, here’s how it works:

1. Open your library on your Zen or Ipod or other MP3 player (or, if you're me or Isabel, open Media Player on your computer. High tech!)

2. Put it on shuffle.

3. Press play.

4. For every question type the song that’s playing.

5. When you go to a new question press the “next” button.

Opening Credits: Hide & Seek by Imogen Heap
This is a pretty good choice. It's actually the first song in my current favorite rock playlist.

Waking Up: Porcelain by Moby
Another great choice.

Falling In Love: Halcyon by Orbital
This may be appropriate in that it's one of MB's tracks instead of mine. Also, "halcyon" means:
1. calm; peaceful; tranquil: halcyon weather.
2. rich; wealthy; prosperous: halcyon times of peace.
3. happy; joyful; carefree: halcyon days of youth.

BACKUP: Only Him or Me by Townes Van Zandt
This is actually more of a breakup or regret song.

Fight Song: Up All Night (Frankie Miller Goes to Hollywood) by Counting Crows
Never go to bed angry?

Breaking Up: All Over Again by Johnny Cash
Definitely should be the falling in love song, instead.

Making Up: Ratts of the Capital by Mogwai
I actually haven't listened to the Mogwai tracks I have very much. They're pretty, though, so I guess they could work for making up.

Life’s Ok: My Proud Mountains by Townes Van Zandt

Mental Breakdown: Henry Lee by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Driving: The Emperor Arrives (Return of the Jedi)

BACKUP: Take it or Leave It by the Strokes

Flashbacks: Gone Crazy by Marcy Playground
This is freaking PERFECT. Really does take me right back to high school.

Happy Dance: Five Feet High and Rising by Johnny Cash
This is not a very happy song.

Regret: Whatsername by Green Day

Final Battle: March of the Pigs by Nine Inch Nails
Apparently my final battle takes place in a Mortal Kombat game.

Death Scene: “Techno Track 02” (some song from a BoMB mix)
I'm not at all familiar with this track, but it starts out sort of melodic and melancholy, so I guess that’s fitting.

Final Credits: The Steward of Gondor (Return of the King)
Home is behind
The world ahead.
And there are many paths to tread.
Through shadow,
To the edge of night
Until the stars are all alight

Mist and shadow
Cloud and shade
All shall fade
All shall...fade.

I did it a second time, just to see what would change.

Opening Credits: Wang Dang Doodle by Koko Taylor

Waking Up: Pop’s Love Suicide by STP

Falling In Love: Marie by Townes Van Zandt

Fight Song: Metal by NIN

Breaking Up: Give Me One Reason by Tracy Chapman

Making Up: You Learn by Alanis

Life’s Ok: Sometimes by the John Butler Trio

Mental Breakdown: Where Is My Mind by the Pixies

Driving: The Frail by NIN

Flashbacks: Tupelo by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Happy Dance: The Snake Song by Townes Van Zandt
“You can’t hold me, I’m too slippery..."

Regret: Swagger by Flogging Molly

Final Battle: Apple Shampoo by Blink 182
At this point things start to break down.

Death Scene: Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper

Final Credits: There’s a Fire in the Night by Alabama

All told, I think the first soundtrack turned out a lot better.

Randomizing: Simian Farmer
Because this is absolute gold: "Even if it's warm enough in a few days, I don't think I'll be terribly inclined to wrangle an extension ladder in two feet of snow to put plastic clips and strings of lights up around our eaves. I probably still will, since my wife will give me 'that look' and then slyly promise sexual favours that, as her husband, are my God-given right anyway. Merry Christmas.

My wife doesn't read all of what I put up here. So sometimes I feel like I'm playing Russian Roulette. My money's on Odds right now."

Reading: Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

Playing: Delta Momma Blues by Townes Van Zandt, Sunrise Over Sea by the John Butler Trio (sound warning)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

There will be a reckoning.

NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo are finally over. I rocked NaBlo, but more or less bombed NaNo. I sort of knew going into it that I didn't have much of a chance of actually reaching 50,000 words. I thought I'd be disappointed in myself, but I'm really not. In college, I wrote all the time. I once wrote four 10-20 page short stories for a workshop class, with three mandatory revisions of each, in one semester. Then I graduated, and wrote barely 6,000 words of fiction over the next two years. I started to worry that I'd lost track of how to do it, to be honest.

Then I signed up for NaNo, and instantly had an idea for what turned into a 5-page scene, and that 5-page scene eventually grew into a 16,353-word, 42-page thing with a mind of its own, no discernable plot, and characters that I really, really like. Will it ever turn into a complete piece? Who knows... But after two years, at least I wrote something that I think has potential. And before this month, the longest piece I'd ever written in my life weighed in at 15,312 words, so I'm going to count NaNo as a success, even though I didn't "win." Besides, I did a total word count for all the blog entries I wrote. If I add that 12,831 to my 16,353, it's a somewhat respectable 29,184 words for the month. Not bad at all.

Also, I don't know how long I'll keep this in my sidebar, but for fun:

I'm not crazy motivated enough to sign up for Holidailies, and I don't have enough shoes to do a belated version of Shoe Posting Month, like Alyndabear, but I think I can handle picking a cool blog out of the Randomizer every day this month. And if I skip a day, I'll just double up on random blog plugs the next time I post.

Randomizing: (I owe you three)
          Lots and Lots of Nonsense
          Playing School, Irreverently
          Travels With Smacky

Reading: Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman

Playing: Maybe This Christmas Too?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Will you light my candle?

click to light a candle in support of World AIDS Day

Friday, December 01, 2006

Apparently Dante skipped this circle.

I don't lie. I also don't cheat, ever. Never cheated in school, don't cheat at games. I don't try to weasel other people out of something that's rightfully not mine, nor do I steal. Therefore, when I am lied to, cheated, or be-weaseled, I get sort of upset. Know what I hate even more than being lied to, cheated, or be-weaseled? The implication that I have, in fact, lied, cheated, or weaseled when I have done nothing of the sort. That butters my biscuit more than almost anything else. It usually makes me feel like I'm going to cry, and I hate that, too. Because really, what's more humiliating than blubbering like a big crybaby when you really want to look your accuser straight in the face and deliver a blistering, un-toppable comeback?

(Can you tell that the dispute with the car rental company is not going well? Indignant letters have been drafted.)

And also high on the to-loathe list? Cold, bitter, unrelenting wind. Guess what we had all day today!

And for the extra bonus points, guess one place I hate to go above all others. I'll give you a rhymes with Hall Cart, and I have to shop there when I need supplies for work, because it's the only place in town where I can use the office credit card.

So you can probably figure out what kind of day I had when I tell you that I went out in the cold, bitter, unrelenting wind, then received a call from a representative of the car rental company that made me feel like I was being accused of lying, cheating, and weaseling while I was shopping at Wal-Mart. It was peachy.

Don't feel too sorry for me, though. Other people had a much crappier day than I did. At least nobody propositioned me today, which is more than I can say for poor Chirky.