Thursday, March 29, 2007

"I half-expected you to come back to town in a fennel wreath and paper pants."

I spent the whole damn day preparing supplies for a science workshop that's taking place this weekend. I don't really mind, in that the workshop program is one of my favorite parts of my job, but I thought I'd be there for two, three hours. Maybe four. Certainly not eight. Days off? Psssh! Days off are for pansies!

There are two classes, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and all told, the 60 kids attending will be making three kinds of slime. Since letting 30 six- through eight-year-olds measure their own ingredients at once is always a risky proposition, and since I've learned through experience that the instructors won't have time to do it on the spot, I spent the morning pouring out tiny little cups of glue, liquid starch, and water. Five-ounce plastic cups for the glue, then Dixie cups for the water and for the starch. Each set of cups was neatly arranged in a plastic tub, labeled, and then covered with cling wrap. I ran into my boss after he'd been in the storage room where my tubs were laid out, and he said, "It looks like a Branch Davidian compound down there!" (I told him not to drink the Kool-Aid.)

I was feeling pretty proud of myself as I headed off to WalHell for one last supply run, I have to admit. But then I came back, and it turns out that Dixie cups apparently aren't meant to hold liquid longer than it takes to transport said liquid from its source to your mouth. Who knew? My cups of water were starting to get a little floppy and soppy. The starch cups were soaking up the starch and starting to leak. It would be an understatement to say that I was less than pleased with this new development, especially since it was 2:30 by this point, and I'd hoped to be on my way at 3:00 at the very latest. I quite desperately wanted to engage in some Hulk smash!-style retribution, but I simply didn't have the time. Looking back, I'm immensely glad that I discovered the Dixie cup problem this afternoon instead of at 8 AM on Saturday when I showed up for work with 45 minutes to finish setting up the classroom.

Once I'd transferred all the starch and water to more five ounce plastic cups, rearranged them in their tubs, and re-covered them with cling wrap, I moved on and measured out thirty 1/2 cup portions of cornstarch and thirty 1/4 cup portions of water into plastic dishes with lids. I left those stacked in small pyramids on the table, so if anyone wanders through there tomorrow, it's going to look like a really eccentric drug lab. I'll have to try to remember to take my camera to work on Saturday so I can capture some photos of the results of my anal-retentive tendencies for posterity. It is both impressive and frightening, the way I thrive on meticulously arranging the minute.

Things that will be legalized when I am President

This is Spring Break week for the kids in my hometown, so work has been crawling with all kinds of people. Most of them are decent, normal people, but some seem to be functionally illiterate and lacking in any concept of proper behavior. When I am President, it will be legal--nay, required--for employees of public institutions to yell out supportive things like "Read the directions, you ignorant ass!" Also, people who stand in front of the sign on the door that says 'theatre opens 10 minutes before showtime' and right beside the sign that says 'showtime 1 PM' at 11 AM or 2 PM or 4 goddamn PM and rattle the door incessantly or pound on it...those people get tasered.

Further, it will be perfectly legal to egg the cars of all those who throw cigarette butts out of their car windows. It is an enduring fantasy of mine to keep a carton of eggs under my seat so that I might lob one at people who litter while driving.

Desperately seeking a helpful technological type

I've been asked to make this site Bloglines-friendly, and I am glad to do so...except I seem to be too damn dumb to figure out how. I went into my dashboard and told Blogger to enable feeds for my page, but nothing changed. I tried signing up for Bloglines, but that just resulted in being asked to choose the feeds I want to receive. Hmm. Then I tried setting up an RSS feed like all the cool kids have, and that was even more confusing. So, if anyone with a clue reads this...a little help? I prostrate myself before the much-more-intelligent denizens of the web. Lead me to enlightenment, I beg you, before I hurt myself.

Are you watching this?

If not, you're missing out. It is FANTASTIC.

Reading: Gorgon:  Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History by Peter D. Ward (it's really good so far)

Playing: Begin to Hope by Regina Spektor

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Cogito ergo blog.

Today I was given a Thinking Blogger Award by Gerbil of There's a Penguin on the Telly. It's hard to express how cool it feels to be nominated by someone I respect so much as a writer, storyteller, and all around kickass chick. So, Gerbil...thank you.

This, of course, makes me feel even more sheepish about the fluff I posted all last week while suffering from the Cold That Ate My Brain and, I suspect, my first fever in 10 or 15 years. I do apologize. If you've been poking around and can't figure out why anyone would consider me a thinker, I somewhat meekly offer up the posts in category 42 as proof that I can sometimes rustle up content about stuff other than thrift store shopping, Google searches, and memes.

Over the past year, this blog has become more important to me than I thought it would. After barely writing at all for almost two years, having a place to regularly empty out the contents of the brainpan feels great. Making connections with new friends is just icing on the cake. Thanks to everyone who reads and comments; I appreciate you more than you know.

Now for the really hard part:  I'm supposed to pass the award on to five other bloggers who deserve the title of Thinking Blogger. I've been pondering all day, and I have finally made my decision. I nominate:

(1) The Mater

She's smart, funny, and a crazy-good writer. Of all the bloggers I read, she's made me tear up more than anyone else. Her writing can be laugh-out-loud hilarious and breathtakingly beautiful. I suspect she might've already won this award from someone else, but I don't see it in her sidebar, so I'm going to take a chance that she's still a newbie like me. Mater, thanks for all the great stories. I'm so glad I found your blog!

(2) Wordgirl at Half of the Sky

I think I discovered her through a comment on my blog or a blog I frequent. I just started reading her recently, but I dig her a lot. She's written some fantastic, fantastic stuff--posts that make me wish I could write like she writes.

(3) HeatherAnn Fragglehead at Pale is the New Tan

Heather is pretty much a brand-new blogger, so I'm hoping this award will guilt motivate her into posting lots and lots. She's pretty much the epitome of the Thinking Blogger, in my mind. She thinks hard and she writes well and, best of all, she stands for what she believes in without condemning others. Well played, my friend! Plus, she's hilarious and funky and gorgeous.

(4) Danger

It may be fair to add a disclaimer that Danger is among my best friends in the entire world. However, I honestly feel that she deserves one of my nominations. Like Heather, she's a somewhat new blogger. I don't think she realizes just how mad her writing skills are, which is a pity. She can also make me laugh my ass off, often while talking about somewhat serious things.

(5) xkcd: a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language

I don't even know that it's fair to nominate a webcomic, but I like it so much that I don't really care. This webcomic is fabulous. Sometimes it's laugh-out-loud-at-work hilarious and sometimes it makes me feel like I'm going to cry. True, sometimes it's about computers and I don't get it, but that's not the writer's fault. A few favorites, demonstrating the range of awesomosity:

(this one almost makes me cry, it's so achingly sad and sweet)

All right, nominees, now it's your turn to nominate five more brand new Thinking Bloggers. The intention is for the award to go to five people who haven't won it before. If you can't think of five people or can't find five who aren't past winners, you still get the award from me!

Thanks again, everybody. xoxoxo

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Watcher in the Woods

I was never much of a joiner in high school, but one of the first (and best) things I did when I started college was sign up for the Geology Club. Being the science of slackers and stoners, geology didn't lend itself to too much scholarly drudgery. The Geology Club people were awesome--laid back, friendly, always ready to include people. Some of my fondest memories of college are memories of hanging out with geology people--it was a small community in the midst of the larger campus, and when I was there, I belonged.

Once each semester, the Geology Club organized a weekend camping trip, and they were legendary. We'd pack up a few fifteen passenger vans we borrowed from the university, head out on Friday after classes, and drive to someplace with cool geology. Over the years, there were trips to plenty of cool places, including Red River Gorge in Kentucky, Elephant Rocks State Park in Missouri, and Beall Woods State Park in Illinois.

I don't remember where we were when this story took place, but I remember that it was ass-cold. It was so cold that we went to bed in a campground half-full of hunters and ATV-ers and fishermen and woke up to a nearly-empty park. Everyone else who was in tents had gone into town to stay in a motel because it was so cold. Heh. Anyhow, as always, we were all in a cluster of campsites off to ourselves, hoping the late night drunken carousing wouldn't keep the rest of the camp from getting a good night's sleep.

MB and I--we weren't married yet at the time--had gone to the outhouse for one last pit stop before we called it a night. I used the facilities first, and had MB hold our flashlight in the crack of the door, so that I could make sure there weren't any spiders on the seat or anything. Then I returned the favor and held the light in the crack of the door for him. The outhouse was maybe 50 yards away from our campsite, a pretty easy walk down the road, and it was near the ruins of an old stone foundation. During the day, I thought the old foundation was pretty rad, but at night it sort of started to feel a little creepy. While MB was doing his thing, I was trying really hard not to think about that foundation, right there about 20 feet behind us. I love the woods and I love camping, but I can also creep the everloving shit out of myself without trying very hard. The curse of the overactive imagination.

All the light from the flashlight was being cast inside the outhouse stall, so I was pretty much on my own in the near-total darkness, trying not to be a wimp. I was having one of those really hilarious inner dialogues you tend to have when you logically know you're being a big baby but your ancient hindbrain is gibbering and scrabbling around and yelping things like Dark! and Run away! Run away! Then, I heard it. Barely, but I heard it. Footsteps, in the leaves several yards behind me. Instinctively, I whipped my head around to look, but of course I couldn't see anything. Ha! Nice one, hindbrain. Way to freak me out with the overreacting to the little breeze in the trees! Ha! Except I heard it again. Two very soft, tentative steps...the kind you make when you're trying to walk very silently through leaf litter. As soon as I turned my head, it stopped.

I knew it wasn't anything cute and fuzzy, like a deer or a chipmunk, because your average non-toothy vegetarian woodland creature makes about the same amount of noise as a Sasquatch. I swear to see deer during the day, and they're all floaty and ethereal and silent graceful frolicking. At night, they put on snowshoes and steel-toed boots and go around kicking trees. Don't believe me? Try sleeping out under the stars in the woods sometime. Once I swore the deer were actually rolling down the hillside behind me, because that's the only possible explanation for the racket they were making.

So, I knew it wasn't anything small and fuzzy and mostly harmless. Which leaves, what? Large and furtive and possibly carnivorous? At this point, all the little hairs on the back of my neck were standing straight up, and my hindbrain was yelling Arrgh! Sabertooth tiger! We're all going to die! and my logical brain, instead of helping, was saying, Not a sabertooth, but maybe a serial killer? Stalking you in the dark? Thanks for a whole lot of nothing, logical brain.

I probably hissed something at MB to imply that he might want to hurry it up. My hand to heaven, it has NEVER taken him as long to pee as it seemed like it took him that night. I didn't have my rock hammer, I maybe had a weensy little pocket knife somewhere about my person, and there at my back, in the goddamn dark, I heard another few quiet steps. I mustered up the firmest voice I could and said, "Hello?" I guess I figured if the serial killer knew that I knew he was there, maybe he'd get spooked and run off. By now, it was all I could do not to run off. No one answered, which I'm not sure was helpful. But they took another couple of steps as soon as my back was turned. I did the only logical thing I could do--I jumped into the outhouse stall with MB. Luckily it was big enough for two.

I said, "There is someone out there, sneaking up on me. I am not going back out there by myself." As you can imagine, I was utterly and fully creeped out at this point. If I could've teleported us back to our tent from the outhouse I would've, just so we didn't have to open the door and face whatever / whoever was out there.

Alas, we couldn't teleport, so we had to face the dark. I'm not sure if I properly conveyed the level of creeped-out that I'd achieved to MB, but in any case we couldn't just hide in the outhouse all night. As we stepped out, I swung the flashlight around in a wide arc, tensed to run like hell if the beam landed on any raving unsavory lunatics.

The light landed on my stalker, and I think it surprised him more than he'd surprised me, if that was possible. Because my drooling knife-wielding possibly-saber-toothed psycho killer? He was a horse.

A freakin' trail horse, shuffling his hooves idly as he munched oats from a nosebag and shifted along his tether line. A nosebag. Good Lord.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Lo, the Bargain Gods didst smile upon me.

The other day on my internet board, we got into a discussion of what dishes we all have and why we like them. When MB and I registered for our dishes back before the wedding, I was sort of nervous. I had originally wanted brightly colored pieces, but MB had vetoed every set that I suggested. I finally settled on some really cool earth tone sets, but I was worried that we'd get sick of them after a while. Picking the man I'm hoping to spend my life with was easy; picking the dishes we might eat off of for the next twenty years...not so much. But, nearly three years later, I love the dishes even more than I did when we first chose them. MB still isn't overly fond of the brown ones, but he digs the blue and the green.

Back in December, I saw a set of the green ones on the clearance shelf at Bed, Bath & Beyond for half price, missing one bowl. We're usually one or two plates short when we have everyone over for Thanksmas Eve, so I suggested we pick up the set. Since we'd just slogged through the Christmas buying season, MB understandably nixed it, but I'd been regretting passing on the dishes a bit ever since, especially once I found out that the green pattern has been discontinued. After we talked about our dishes on the internet board, I poked around on and found out that we can still get the green ones there, but for $25 per place setting. Woe!

Barely daring to hope, I took some coupons and went to BB&B yesterday while I was out. And this NEVER happens, but the green dishes were totally still there. Holy crap. Woohoo!

The scoreage continued today when I went Goodwilling with the bibliophile and evilducky. I found some cute shirts and the most fantastic fitted jacket ever ever ever:

As a happy bonus, I found some canisters for a friend who collects mushroom swag:

A mess of games for $1 each:

And what may be the most random item ever purchased at a thrift store:

Al's Nut Warmer

It lights up. I think my friend KWJ, henceforth known as the Untamed Shrew, will love it.

To close, here's a joke that my friend KP, a pharmacy tech, forwarded to me:

A nice, calm and respectable woman went into a pharmacy, looked the pharmacist straight in his eyes & said, "I would like to buy some cyanide."

The pharmacist asked, "Why in the world do you need cyanide?"

The woman replied, "I need it to poison my husband."

The pharmacist's eyes got big and he exclaimed, "Lord, have mercy! I can't give you cyanide to kill your husband! That's against the law! My license! They'll throw both of us in jail! All kinds of bad things will happen! No! You CANNOT have any cyanide!"

The woman reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist's wife.

The pharmacist looked at the picture and replied, "Well, now, that's different. You didn't tell me you had a prescription."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Another Stolen Meme

Lacking a good blog topic tonight, I decided to do a little housekeeping and slog through my list of bookmarks / favorites. I tend to throw any blog that catches my eye in there and then forget about it, so I find it helpful to go back through the list every now and again to see what gems I found and forgot.

In doing so, I discovered a really cool meme that I hadn't seen before, so I decided to filch it. It's a book meme, so I really couldn't resist. I hope Charlotte doesn't mind too much!

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? I prefer trade paperbacks, but I've got no problems with mass markets if that's all I can get. I usually only buy hardbacks when they're on the bargain table.

Amazon or brick and mortar? Brick and mortar, though I do sometimes go daydreaming around on Amazon, thinking of all the gently used books I could buy.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? Barnes & Noble

Bookmark or dogear? Dogear, unless the book has slick pages or is really nice. I used to use bookmarks, but since I'm not very careful and I also tend to toss books into my backpack, bookmarks tend to fall out.

Alphabetise by author, or by title, or random? If I actually organized my books, I'd alphabetize by author, then title. Right now, it's very random, since I don't actually have enough shelves for my books.

Keep, throw away or sell? Keep or give away. Sometimes trade, but almost always keep.

Keep dust jacket or toss it? Keep, unless too ratty to salvage.

Read with dust jacket on or remove it? Remove, usually. When they're on, I'm always worried that I'll tear the corner or something.

Short story or novel? In general, I prefer novels, but I've read some great short stories over the years.

Collection of short stories or anthology? I don't really have a preference, though the last several short story collections I've read have been single-author.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? Harry Potter. I haven't read any Lemony Snicket, though I hope to get around to those books someday.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? If I'm at home, I'll usually read until the chapter breaks. At work, I usually just stop when my lunch hour is up.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"? Neither are particularly compelling, as far as beginnings go ;)

Buy or borrow? Depends on the book, but I love to buy!

New or used? Doesn't matter, as long as the used book is in relatively good shape. Or it's cheap. I'll buy nearly any book for $1.00 from the library's used books corner.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? Lately, most of the things I buy are books that I've already read and loved, or are written by authors that I know won't let me down. Browsing books only usually make their way to me via bargain tables or the $1.00 book corner. As far as books I read, I'd have to say that the majority of stuff I've been getting from the library lately are based on friends' recommendations. I don't really read many book reviews, but I will look at the library for books that I see reviewed on Slate or at blogs that I like.

Morning, afternoon or nighttime reading? Whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Favourite series? Terry Pratchett's Discworld books

Favourite children’s book? It's really too hard to choose just one.

Favourite book of which no-one has heard? Rusalka by CJ Cherryh

Favourite books read last year? American Gods by Neil Gaiman, Sunshine by Robin McKinley, Mommy Wars by Leslie Morgan Steiner, Marley & Me by John Grogan, The Dogs of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz

Least favourite book finished last year? I can't recall anything completely crappy from last year, but I did return a book called Lady Blue to the library in disgust last week after reading only one chapter. It was somewhat atrocious.

What are you reading now? The Harp of the Grey Rose by Charles De Lint and Gorgon:  Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History by Peter D. Ward

What are you reading next? Something from my huge stack of library books, or one of the books I got for my birthday, or one of the ones I got for Christmas. I'm really behind!

While I was poking around, I found two really hilarious posts:

5penny and the terrible horrible no good very bad day

and one that begins with this line: "I managed to show my Dad my bare, white ass yesterday."

I also followed a link from Jocelyn's Stories to this gorgeous essay. Housecleaning the favorites list = good times.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Why I Could Never Be a Celebrity

First off, there's my complete lack of marketable talents. Hang on...scratch that. Lack of talent doesn't seem to be an issue.

So, starting over: I don't wear makeup, so I'd be in that "Stars--They're Just Like Us!" column all the damn time. Also, I have weird random "beauty" issues, like one lock of hair that insists on sticking straight up for a whole day, or a random crazy eyebrow hair that I don't notice for a whole week. Perfect example--since I'm currently afflicted with The Pestilence and going through tissues like they're Cheetos & cigarettes and I'm Britney Spears, my nose is peeling. WTF, I ask you? WTF? So today, every time I blew my nose, I had to hide in the bathroom and put lotion on my nose so that nobody saw me walking around looking like a damn leper. I would be the easiest mark EVER for the paparazzi, I'm telling you.

I also tend to have non-critical but still-spazzy wardrobe malfunctions that are fine for an ordinary person, but hilarious when they happen to celebrities. Today, my tank top strap kept migrating out into the open, even though it was meant to stay hidden under the neckline of my top. What would the Go Fug Yourself Girls say? Even better, last week I went from the bathroom to my office to the front desk to my car to the GP's office across town, then from the car across the parking lot and halfway up the (thankfully enclosed) stairwell before I realized my pants were buttoned but not zipped. Jesus. I'd need a handler 24 / 7 to even masquerade as a relatively put-together adult, were I a celebrity.

Finally, I wear underwear all the time if I'm out-of-doors or moving through out-of-doors on my way between, say, a car and another indoor location. ALL THE TIME, LINDSAY. KNICKERS EVERY DAY, BRITNEY. I wouldn't be very dramariffic, which would mean that I'd have to rely on my talents to get noticed...and I don't have 'em. I also have a very low probability of having a public meltdown in which I do anything utterly ridiculous, like shave my own head or go out partying with Paris Hilton. Somehow, I think the tradeoff is worth it.

Reading: The Harp of the Grey Rose by Charles De Lint and Gorgon:  Paleontology, Obsession, and the Greatest Catastrophe in Earth's History by Peter D. Ward

Playing: Light Grenades by Incubus

Monday, March 19, 2007

Stolen Meme Time

Since I'm still fighting the pestilence, I decided to be lazy and steal a meme from the lovely Alyndabear:

"List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what they are. They must be songs you are presently enjoying."

Since I'm not listening to music right this second, I'll try to come up with seven newish songs that cause me to crank up the volume when they come on the radio.

1. Anna Molly - Incubus

2. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall

3. Snow (Hey Oh) - Red Hot Chili Peppers

4. When You Were Young - The Killers

5. Dashboard - Modest Mouse (Love them!)

6. From Yesterday - 30 Seconds to Mars (I tried to resist, for they are very angsty-trendy, but resistance was futile.)

7. Fidelity - Regina Spektor

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Forget the potato famine...I want to know who brought the pestilence.

I am usually as healthy as the proverbial horse. Therefore, I find it quite disconcerting to spend a whole day feeling as though I'm mere steps away from the glue factory.

OK, maybe not the glue factory. But definitely the barn where the wimpy, whiny horses have to stay.

I used to get maybe one cold per year, max. In the last calendar year, I've had at least five. I know, I know, world's smallest violin. But I've officially run out of patience for this being sick crap. I don't have time for it, and I want to send it back.

Enough with the waaaah and the boohoo. Let's talk about crazy cool birthday gifts, because I have crazy cool friends.

Exhibit 1:  card from Danger

This is totally the same company that Kitters modeled for back in January. Little sneak still isn't paying his share of the rent.

Exhibit 2:  gift from evilducky and Teacher Incognito


Thanks, you guys!

Reading: Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sterilite of Texas blog

Or, another installment of Google searches.

As usual, the majority of my hits were for egg salad and egg salad recipes. Of all of them, here are my favorites:

365 recipe eggs monks

egg salad songs

fake egg salad recipe

egg salad game online

I wonder if I have a moral obligation to provide some kind of intervention service for these misinformed folks. It would be kind of random and fun to assemble an egg salad recipe hall of fame. What do you think, random egg salad blog finders? Good idea? In the meantime, here's a blog written from the point of view of a schizophrenic egg salad sandwich.

kfed radio alaska (No, thanks...I prefer Chris in the Morning.)

Pterodactyl isn't a dinosaur (You're right; it's not!)

"Looking For My Leopard" Tabs (I don't have the guitar tabs, but you can go here to hear the song. It's awesome.)

menorah dildo holder (I already mentioned this, but it's too wonderful not to mention again. I'm surprised that my sex toy post hasn't resulted in any more odd fetish hits. It did reel in someone looking for animal shape salads and someone on the hunt for xoxo sextoys white label.)

On a creepier note, someone with a noseclip fetish has landed here twice:


"nose clip" fucking breath hold

Somebody's looking for forest princess barbie, who I discovered while on the hunt for a bizarre book featuring Barbie & Ken as colonists during the American Revolution.

The egg in the bottle people are still at it, and getting weirder:

how long does it take to suck an egg in a bottle

how do you suck an egg through a bottle

an egg can go through a bottle

suck an egg into a bottle

egg in a bottle testicles

Let's give a hearty "welcome back!" to the person who's still glad to be bereft of balls:

"i don't have testicles"

"glad i don't have testicles" (x 2)

A shout-out to the truly random:

cow sprinkles (I did actually post a photo of a cookie with cow sprinkles once, so I hope that was at least somewhat helpful.)

boys tend to pee in the woods

ringtone "Hissing cat" (I bet this would drive Kitters absolutely batshit.)

"russell sheets"

mehndi da oil

how do I clean a falconer glove

kat von d's jean size

logic diagram up down counter of parking garage

bob ross flying squirrel

leopard trousers eggs

Searches for which I am the #1 hit:

"pee standing up like a boy"

a swing and a miss "enjoy the cat" (I don't really like the sound of this one.)

Klause the kickboxer (I still have no clue who he could be.)

sing over the rainboot (I suspect English may not be this Googler's first language. Same for this guy: look for a job that make salad.)

mtv lame-assness

egg salad attributes (10 Constitution, 2 Intelligence, 1 Dexterity, 9 Strength, 7 Charisma)

There's a tiebreaker for the best Google search of the month (or first half of the month, anyway):

planet summer meshy

asserific without pity (for which I was the only hit)

And now, dear internets

If any of you overseas folk recognize any of these things, I'd be forever grateful for a clue-in. I'm reassembling a scrapbook from a trip I took to London in 1999, and there are a few photos without captions:

Reading: Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares

Playing: country mix on the mpMonster

Hi, I'm a slacker.

No new post tonight, because I'm too tired to think of anything compelling to write about. However, here's the hilarious birthday card that That Chick sent me:

Also, two new entries are up at badgerbooks if anyone is interested.

Peace out, homies.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Who rocks the partay, rocks the partay?

Brown Eyed Girl rocks the partay, rocks the partay. Why? Because she sent me a package in the mail. And inside I found two packages of Dots. Best of all, stuck to the Dots was a note that said, "Now the next time you get a taste for them, MB won't have to run to 10 places." Brown-Eyed Girl, you kick ass. Not only did the note make me laugh and laugh, but I've had a fierce Dots craving for three days running. Word up, homie. WORD UP.

This made me laugh so hard I almost choked on my Fruity Cheerios, especially during the flailing (thanks to Tamsyn for the original link):

And now, for more clutter busting!

I'm slowly (so slowly) working my way through the piles of clutter we've accumulated over the last few years, working toward the goal of a more simplified, less stuff-clogged living space and life. Last week, I spent an evening going through old clothes and pulling out stuff that no longer fits or that I just don't wear / like. I gave my sister two huge shopping bags full of stuff, and I still have a carryon suitcase full of things that have to go. Inspired by Fussy, once again, I decided to take some photos to memorialize things that I have fond feelings toward, but that I probably won't ever wear again, so I'll be able to get rid of them without losing the memories.

First, my tie-dyed shirts:

From April - November 2004, I worked at a state historic site where my boss was somewhat lenient about the dress code. We had four weeks of day camp that summer, and each week we tie-dyed shirts with the kids. Each week, I made a few shirts, and they more or less became my uniform for the rest of the season. They're a bit too small for the boobage these days, and my dress code is a little more strict anyway, so I've pulled them out of the closet. Even after photographing them, I couldn't bear to part with them, so I bent the rules a little and put them into a box with a few other things that are too cool to get rid of, just in case I have a rad kid someday who wants to wear them. Besides, the two in the last set of pictures are probably the best tie-dyed shirts I've ever made, and the rainbow one hasn't even been washed yet! Click each picture to get a better look at the patterns. You'll note that I managed to totally dodge the too-oft-occurring tragedy of tie-dye circles in the tata region, which is always embarrassing for a girl. I was quite, quite careful with my rubberband placement. Huzzah!

Then, another pair of beloved but battered size 9 hiphugger jeans:

Since these are only torn a little at the knees and at the bottoms of the hip pockets, I'll probably toss them in the Goodwill box. My mom would be horrified, but my sister's boyfriend's brother just spent $200 on a pair of pre-ripped designer jeans, so I figure someone might get some use out of these. Lord knows my ass will never fit into them again.

Speaking of never fitting again:

I can't believe my boobs ever fit into this comparatively wee bra (comparative to now, anyway). And, the funniest boob / bra post EVER EVER EVER:  A Potted History of My Tits by Antonia of Whoopee. Not really safe for work, but so very funny.

I'm not particularly sentimental about these, but they are pretty:

They never quite fit properly, because the sleeves are sort of skinny, and I've never had small upper arms. Back in the day, they were somewhat muscular from all the Taekwondo badassery, and now they're just sort of thick. It's an all-too-common trend in girls' clothes in general, I think--the tendency to forget that some girls do actually have muscles. Too bad, because the shirts are cute.

Of all the shirts, I think I'm most wistful about this one:

Love the cut, love the color. It's a 3/4 sleeve shirt, which sort of makes it look--in this photo, anyway--like it's made for T-Rex arms. (I'm trying to pass the potatoes!) That just intensifies my affection. Alas, it's too short now.

Cue music...

Is it wrong to drool over a boy who weighs less than my right leg?

Ah, high school:

Is it legal to be this sexy whilst singing?

Some DMB love:

Sunday, March 11, 2007

So I walk up on high / And I step to the edge / To see my world below. *

Since I only get one weekend off work each month, MB and I are somewhat restricted as far as when we can plan to do stuff together. Since my birthday is coming up, MB designated this weekend as my "birthday weekend," and told me that he wanted to take me somewhere cool, somewhere I wanted to go. I wanted to go here, but it's a pretty long drive and we didn't really feel like spending money to stay one night in a hotel. Besides, according to, it was going to rain all day on Saturday, so we changed our plans. I'm still a little annoyed with for lying to me, because it was absolutely beautiful outside yesterday and today, with nary a rain cloud in sight. All in all, though, it was a really fantastic weekend, so I guess I can't complain too much.

Yesterday, we went on a bit of a road trip and visited Squire Boone Caverns, since caves are perfect places to spend the kind of rainy day we were supposed to have. I wish I'd taken notes during the tour, because I can't remember anything about the age of the cave or of the formations inside. It was very cool, though--one of the fanciest caves we've seen together. There were lots and lots of cave formations, and the guide actually got everything right. Usually, cave guides ask at the beginning of a tour if there are any geologists present. I never raise my hand, but MB always rats me out. Then I'm too polite to correct them when they impart incorrect information, like saying that the speleothems are made of onyx (They're not. Onyx is quartz, SiO2. Cave formations are made of calcite, CaCO3. Please show me one piece of limestone that dissolves to make quartz.). Anyway, our guide was right on with all the science, and she was fun.

The cave was supposedly discovered by the famous Daniel Boone and his brother, Squire Boone, Jr. According the to story, they went in through the natural entrance, scaled a series of three waterfalls (two eight-footers and a twelve-footer), and did some exploring in the lower level of the cave. No one knows how far into the cave they actually went, but according to our guide, most people don't think they went very far into the passageways, since they had only torches to rely on for light. Some people doubt that they actually made it up the waterfalls in the first place. It's a cool story, however it actually played out. Here's the top waterfall, the twelve-footer:

I believe the guide said about a million gallons pours over it in an average day.

Caves are crazy-cool places, and I feel really lucky to live near one of the biggest karst belts in the United States.

I could go on for quite some time about how awesome caves are and about the unique ecosystems they support, but I think pictures would be more fun, so here are some we took during the tour:

white flowstone

MB dubbed this the "cave penis"

This is the Rock of Ages, the largest and oldest formation in the cave.

According to our guide, these are the largest active (still growing) rimstone dams in the world.

MB called this "upside-down New York City."

At the lowest point in the cave, we were 9 stories underground. You could stand on the hill over the top of the cave and have no clue what was beneath your feet. It's mindblowing and awesome to think of all the wonder that could be hiding just out of sight. For more pictures from the cave trip, check out Shutterfly.

Today, we slept very late, which was fabulous, and then went hiking at a state park not too far from where we live:

After hiking, we went out to run a few errands, and MB bought me a two-in-one novel of Eric Garcia's Anonymous Rex and Casual Rex. My sister also gave me Terry Pratchett's Night Watch and Sergei Lukyanenko's Day Watch, so it's been a satisfactorily bookish birthday.

Let's end with some minutiae:

Dear Bravo,

Top Design turned out crappy enough. Now you're trying to get us swallow your new filler show, Shear Genius, a hairstylists' competition? You've got to be kidding. Please just give it a rest until you're ready to start the next season of Project Runway.

Thank you,

Dear CW,

I know my addiction to America's Next Top Model is shameful, but I'd still appreciate it if you'd show it when you say you're going to show it. Otherwise, how am I supposed to be able to tape it while I'm out on Wednesday nights?


What I've been doing with my evenings lately:

And some music: