Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bein' Green

What Color is Your Brain?


At work or in school: I work best by myself. I like to focus on my ideas until my desire for understanding is satisfied. I am easily bored if the subject holds no interest to me. Sometimes, it is hard for me to set priorities because so many things are of interest.
With friends: I may seem reserved. Although my thoughts and feelings run deep, I am uneasy with frequent displays of emotion. I enjoy people who are interesting and of high integrity.
With family: I am probably seen as a loner because I like a lot of private time to think. Sometimes, I find family activities boring and have difficulty following family rules that don't make sense to me. I show love by spending time with my family and sharing ideas and interests.

Take this quiz!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Ever Wondered About Charlie Brown's Skeleton?

Or Shmoo's? Or Marvin the Martian's?

Check it out:

Skeletal Systems

Bizarre in an awesome sort of way. Or awesome in a bizarre sort of way, if you prefer.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bipolar Express

We watched the movie Polar Express last night, and I confess I spent most of it going, “Wha?” I did not enjoy it, and I’m a big fan of kids’ movies -- when they’re well-done. Granted, I did not read the book, mostly because the illustrations didn’t appeal to me; I’m guessing that reading it would have at least cleared up some of my confusion, because confusion there was.

To begin with, this strange conductor shows up in the middle of night and carts kids away, supposedly going to the North Pole. Okay. It’s a kids’ movie, I’ll stifle my adult urge to scream, “Don’t go with the pedophile, kid!” and go along with it.

After picking up the main character, the "hero" (who is not heroic or even particularly interesting), they pick up some little poor kid who has to sit in the back train car by himself. What is up with that?! He has to sit alone, in a train car that is precariously attached to the rest of the train, where it looks cold and dark, and doesn't even get offered refreshments? I suppose that was a gimmick to show the heroic qualities of the two hero characters, but it just seemed excessively cruel to me. And did I mention gimmicky?

Then there was the ongoing (and ongoing and ongoing) frustration with the ticket, the incredibly dangerous train ride, and the surprisingly inept crew. I mean, wouldn't you think Santa would have the best? The conductor seemed bipolar, the engineer was clumsy and slow, and the guy helping the engineer (not sure what his function was) was like a character out of Dogpatch.

The staff who brought the hot chocolate seemed magical, pouring scalding hot chocolate into cups from yards away while they twirled and sang à la Disney. But then the train ride itself was one ridiculous and dangerous mishap after another. Where was the magic then? I guess the kitchen staff got it all.

Then there was this mysterious hobo character who was there, but then not there, saving other characters now and then. I found him strange and off-putting. He was clearly a gimmick (again), put there just to save characters when they needed it, but why? It seems like any other kind of character could have worked just as well, if not better. This character was mysterious to the point of eeriness. Maybe it was intended as a Homeless-Person-As-Hero Don't-Judge-A-Book-By-Its-Cover sort of lesson? I suspect this is one instance in which the book could help me out.

When they finally got to the North Pole, our protagonists of course managed to get lost because they were DOING THE RIGHT THING (in a very clumsy way), but then of course ended up, despite themselves, where they were supposed to be anyway. Again, Santa's whole operation seemed to be inefficient and bumbling, though one near tragic mishap was -- again, of course -- stopped at the last minute and the conductor said something about the whole operation being a "well-oiled machine." A well-oiled near death trap, you mean.

Then Santa finally came out after much Jonestown-like singing and chanting by thousands of elves all dressed alike, making them disturbingly uniform from a distance, like an army of Christmas Orcs. The elves they showed up close were out-and-out creepy-looking. One might even go so far as to say evil-looking. One of the elves spoke to the poor boy, saying "Trust me" in this sinister serial-killer way, sort of winking like he's a good-natured pirate who really can't be trusted but is charming so you give in anyway. But the elf was supposedly actually trustworthy. So, Mr. Zemeckis, why make him seem sinister and shifty?

Santa was dull and not really on-screen for long and made a big point of saying how he was a symbol of Christmas. Not heavy-handed at all, no. And of course he chose Our Hero for the First Gift of Christmas, though the "hero" hadn’t earned it in any way I could see. Oh, wait, he believed. With all of the proof right in front of him, he took the brave step of believing. Yes, I get it now.

I realize this movie is intended for children and most may have loved it, but I thought it was contrived, ran much too long, suffered from logic gaps that bright children will spot easily, was mostly boring though interspersed with somewhat violent parts that I think would scare young children, and overall, was just downright unsettling.

Monday, December 11, 2006

If There's One Thing I Can Do...

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

Are You Gooder at Grammar?
Make a Quiz

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Underpants Gnomes Strike Again!

Apparently it’s all the rage these days in Hollywood for young starlets, pop tarts, and heiress wastes of space to go about all panty-less. Maybe it’s the warm weather in California: naughty bits need a little fresh air now and then. No?

It’s not a new idea; we all know Marilyn Monroe didn't wear underwear. Yet La Marilyn didn’t stagger around drunk in micro-minis, struggling to get in and out of limos and yachts and whatnot, either oblivious to flashing everyone or pretending to be oblivious while secretly hoping everyone noticed. I’m sure that many people back in the day didn’t consider Marilyn to be the epitome of class, but look, Ma -- by comparison she seems like such a lady, doesn’t she?

I don’t really see what the appeal is for these young women. Do they think it makes them seem more daring? Devil-may-care? Saucy? Sexy? I think it just seems desperate. Desperate to be considered sexy, desperate to be in the limelight, desperate to have their pictures splashed all over the world, even for this. Do they not care about class, dignity, respect? Okay, okay, that's going too far, I guess, expecting too much.

But does Britney really have to do this to feel sexy? Maybe after having two babies and being married to the bowl of Jello -- tough Jello, though, yo, like green, maybe -- she does. But she was famous for being sexy before all that, more even than for being a singer. She could easily have gotten that back and it looked like she was on her way until she hooked up with the heiress oxygen-suck and broke her own previous record for the downhill run. Not that she’s ever been anything other than trash. We all know money can’t buy love; it doesn’t seem to be able to put a dent in poor taste or a complete lack of class, either.

Though I’m the first to admit that it is indeed bold to go panty-less, staggering around drunkenly flashing your lady parts at whoever might be looking your way is a little too close to the world’s oldest profession for me. And we all know how much respect they get.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Another Reason to Love December

Not that I didn't enjoy NaBloPoMo or think it was a good idea. It was just the pressure.

The same sort of pressure keeps me from subscribing to magazines: the fact that I have to read this, at least some of it, every month, or God forbid, every week, or I've completely WASTED MY MONEY. Ugh. I can't take it. (Except for Consumer Reports. That one I love.)

I don't like feeling obligated. I can't tell you how much I resent flossing; if I didn't have to do it, I wouldn't mind. But oh, since I have to...

I realize it's a weird way of thinking but I've learned to accept it. Just please don't subscribe me to any magazines.

Insanity Explained

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Book Snob
Literate Good Citizen
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Most Expensive Time of the Year

For my last post as part of NaBloPoMo, which I realize I failed miserably, I'm just going to throw some fun links atcha. Heads up!
(funny AND they sell stuff)
(if you don't want to read the post, scroll down to where she starts the gift idea list)
(various neat gifties)
(again, vng)
(yummy candles)
(yummy bath products)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

By the Thundering Horse of Jove...

You Are a Pegasus

You are a perfectionist, with an eye for beauty.
You know how to live a good life - and you rarely deviate from your good taste.
While you aren't outgoing, you have excellent social skills.
People both admire you - and feel very comfortable around you.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love this time of year. Partly because Christmas is my favorite holiday, partly because the weather is FINALLY cooling off, and partly because, hello, gifts! Giving and getting. Also people seem friendlier this time of year. Or they used to. I think the whole world is grumpier than it used to be, me included.

Anyway, I've got the Christmas music cranked and wanted to take a minute to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I wish everyone would stop talking about Tom Cruise. I don't care about his wedding to Katie, I don't care about how powerful he is or what a superstar he is. I'm really tired of people claiming to speak for all women and how we just love Tom Cruise. I don't. I never have. I didn't like him in Risky Business, when all my teenage friends were crazy about him (yes, I'm dating myself), I didn't like him in Top Gun (same character he played in RB, and he had as much chemistry with Kelly McGillis as he would have had with, oh, I don't know, his sister maybe?), and I hated the whole Jerry Maguire masterpiece of mediocrity. Except for the little boy, he was cute.

Has no one else noticed that Tom plays the same basic character in every movie? Everyone was going on and on about his daring role reversal in Collateral, but it was exactly the same, he was just a bad guy instead of a good one. Let's see him take on Shakespeare or Jane Austen convincingly. Then I might be impressed.

And I don't want to hear him talk about anything anymore. I think he's ignorant and insipid. Perhaps no more than most high school dropouts; perhaps no more than most celebrities. But I don't want to listen to them, either.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

True or False

Until recently, I had been reading only non-fiction books, and while I enjoyed them, I wasn’t completely satisfied. I felt gratified, more knowledgeable, and sometimes alarmed or outraged, but not satisfied. It’s like dessert -- I can enjoy a dessert that’s not chocolate, but it just isn’t really dessert. It’s not fully rewarding. It doesn’t make the soul sing.

Now I am back to reading fiction and it is like sinking into a nice, warm, fragrant bath. Or slipping on a pair of perfect shoes. Or meeting a new friend that you feel immediately comfortable with, almost as if you’ve known them before. Aaaah, is what I’m saying.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Mea Culpa

This has been bothering me and I'd just like to say that I wanted my blog url to be littlegraycells but it was taken (by someone who hasn't updated since February of 2005! Grrrr). Since I love Poirot and have the last name Gray, I didn't want to give it up, so I made it littlegraycellz. Normally, I don't like to misspell things and I don't like the downward (dumbward?) slide our language is in, but I made an exception. I suppose I should have been more creative instead, but now it's too late.

I feel a little better.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Good Wife. Now Sit!

(Click image to see larger version.) (Please ignore the marks; they are not mine.) This may be a fabrication; its status on is Undetermined. Still, amusing, in a teeth-gnashing kind of way.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Joy of Plumbing

Well, we have the plumbers here for the third time in as many months (right? close, anyway) to fix the same problem: our bathtub won't drain.

It goes in a predictable procession: flushing the toilet causes the tub drain to gurgle; we say uh-oh; tub starts retaining fluid; it eventually drains; tub retains with a vengeance; doesn't drain at all; toilet will no longer flush. It's fun!

They're now telling us that they may have to replace the pipes from the bathroom to the street, or wherever it goes. And that might take a couple of days. No bathroom for a couple of days? No problem! Luckily we live in the same town as my parents, so we can stay with them if need be. I just hope that if they have to do that, it doesn't take any longer than a couple of days. And that it really fixes the problem. Which they say is tree roots. Thanks, trees! What'd we ever do to you?

Here are Sassy & Molly, waiting for the intruders to leave:

You can see that they aren't too thrilled with their prison. And who can blame them? Here's what they're used to:

Update: They fixed the problem, again citing tree roots (damn you, trees!), but claiming that they shouldn't cause a problem again for six months. Ha! We'll see about that. It's us against the roots now. This means war.

Now please excuse me, I have to go light some candles to counteract eau de plumber...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Can You Say OW?

That was my first root canal. (I'm sure it won't be my last; thanks for the crappy teeth, Mom and Dad!)

As my little nephew would say, "It was kinda horrible."

Here are a few observations made while under the drill:

  • I love whoever created Novocaine.
  • X-ray squares HURT.
  • When the dentist is cleaning out your tooth canals, it sounds like you’re chewing Silly Putty. (oh come on, you know you’ve done it)
  • It's scary when the assistant holds out an implement to the doctor and he looks at it blankly and asks, “What is that?” And then he USES it.
  • Root canals suck, but not as badly as letting your tooth go until you’ve got an abscess and it feels like your jaw has exploded when you eat ice cream.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Peace Out

Tomorrow I go in for a root canal, which I am equal parts dreading and eagerly anticipating. My tooth is starting to hurt again a little bit, so it will be good to get it over with. I don't know how I'll feel after it, so I may not post tomorrow. Alas, poor NaBloPoMo!

Monday, November 13, 2006


For those of you who don't know, I work in a library and am stuck on the reference desk as my desk, my home away from home, even though I shouldn't be, but that's another story. I just have one question I'd like to pose: WHY CAN'T PEOPLE BATHE AND USE DEODORANT? It's not hard. Have a heart, people.

Now for something kind of related and not really surprising:

Your Attitude is Better than 35% of the Population

You have an average attitude. You take the good and bad in life as they come. Though sometimes you could use a little more good.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

But I'm From Louisiana!

Your Linguistic Profile:
40% General American English
30% Dixie
10% Upper Midwestern
10% Yankee
5% Midwestern

Saturday, November 11, 2006

There Once Was a Little Pea Brain...

Well, if I weren't out of the contest already, I am now, all due to my wee little brain. I had a feeling it would come to this, though I expected to make it further into the month. I wasn't at a computer yesterday so... I just forgot. Until Molly woke us up to go out at 1:30 a.m. THIS morning. Then I oh-so-helpfully remembered. Good job, brain!

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Does anyone else like House Hunters as much as I do? I suppose I like it so much because we are looking for a house ourselves. Although we don't have nearly the options that most of the people on HH have since we live in such a small town. We're lucky to have a few houses to consider every few months or so. I envy those people their choices.

Those of you who watch the show, tell me which episodes are older: Suzanne Whang with bangs, or Suzanne Whang without? I don't know why I feel compelled to know this, but I do.

My husband doesn't like the show as much as I do, but he loves how in some of them (older or newer episodes, I can't tell!) she introduces herself and then pauses, as if expecting applause. "Welcome to House Hunters. I'm Suzanne Whang." ~pause~ "Joe Schmoe is looking for a new place to live..."

That is funny, but not as funny as a girl on a Standard Deviants video we watched (my hubby is a teacher) who would say whatever she was scripted to, then flash this big beauty queen smile. Regardless of the tone of whatever it was she had just said. That struck me as really funny. Apparently, her Indian name is Desperately Hoping to Be Noticed by a Hollywood Bigwig and Become the Next Julia Roberts Like Sometime SOON So I Don't Have to Do These Lame Educational Videos EVER AGAIN.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I Should Study Science!

You Are An INTJ

The Scientist

You have a head for ideas - and you are good at improving systems. Logical and strategic, you prefer for everything in your life to be organized. You tend to be a bit skeptical. You're both critical of yourself and of others. Independent and stubborn, you tend to only befriend those who are a lot like you.

You would make an excellent scientist, engineer, or programmer.

Okay, I am kind of an idea rat, I am constantly trying to improve things, and I like to be logical and organized. Skeptical, check. Critical, check. Stubborn, check. But a scientist? I don't think so. I don't have the concentration. I'm more like Frankenstein's monster than the good doctor. Alive, yes, but very confused.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Good Old American Dentistry

So I went to the dentist today. Wow, that was fun! He poked, prodded, drilled, and swabbed his little heart out. It hurt. Verily it hurt.

And I have to have a root canal next week. And my jaw hurts from the shot, and my tooth still hurts from all the drilling and prodding. But at least I can see light at the end of this particular tunnel of doom.

I can't believe I'm looking forward to a root canal.

Well, sort of.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Teeth Shmeeth

I don't know if you've ever had a toothache, or any kind of trouble with your teeth. If not, I hate you and want your teeth. If so, you know what it's like. You can feel my pain.

Because oh, yes, pain there is. It started Saturday night when I was innocently eating a little ice cream. All of a sudden, WHAM. It was like someone hit me in the jaw with a sledgehammer. (Well, okay, since that might actually kill me, I'll change it to a rubber mallet. Those things still hurt.) It was horrible. My whole head hurt. It finally subsided into a dull, throbbing, constant ache that has been with me since. With occasional flare-ups of intense head-shattering pain.

And of course the dentist can't work me in until tomorrow.

I have two crowns where this pain is originating and have been told I need root canals. I'm guessing they were right. And as much as I dread having a root canal, I want this pain over with even more. Just make it stop, that's all I ask. And make sure it never returns.

At this point, I'm willing to have these teeth pulled, if that's what it would take. Just call me Lurleen-Mae. At least I would be gloriously free of pain and able to eat whatever I wanted. Mostly.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I Am So Mad

Well, that's just great. I'm going to be out of the contest now, all because of BLOGGER. I posted yesterday, and at first had trouble getting Blogger to publish; finally it published and the post was there. I even checked my site twice and there was my little post, a few words of wisdom that I liked. So I come in to post today and guess what? Yesterday's post is GONE.

I would love to know how that happened, I would love Blogger to find it and republish it, AND I would love an apology from them for this.

Friday, November 03, 2006

You Can Call Me Scoot

You Are Scooter
Brainy and knowledgable, you are the perfect sidekick.You're always willing to lend a helping hand.In any big event or party, you're the one who keeps things going."15 seconds to showtime!"

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wild Child

While recently reading about the Jersey Devil, I discovered a link to an article on feral children. Reading some of the entries mentioned in that article, I discovered further proof (as if I needed any) that animals really are better than people. (I make a vast, sweeping, and even gross generalization here, I know. I actually do know some very nice people, and a few kind of mean animals, so I recognize the flaw in my sentiment. But still. Overall.)

Here’s what blows me away: first of all, that parents abandon their own children -- okay, that’s shocking enough, but sadly, not as shocking as it should be these days; the really astounding part is that animals take them in -- something that isn’t even of their own species -- and raise them!

Do the animals stop to consider whether or not there will be enough milk to go around, or juicy berries, or yummy rabbits, or whatever? Apparently not.

So, at least in these cases, the animals definitely win the moral tug-of-war.

A previously unknown (to me) and intriguing detail mentioned in several of the cases wherein children were raised by wolves or wild dogs is that the children were found to have exceptional senses of sight, smell, and hearing. I can think of several reasons why this would be so, but it never occurred to me that it would be. I think that’s fascinating.

I guess that’s why I was a psych major in college.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Get Your Post On!

In a moment of reckless abandon, I decided to participate in NaBloPoMo, which is National Blog Posting Month, created by the fussy Mrs. Kennedy. This means I have to post every day for the month of November. Every day.

I did this not just because there are prizes involved -- mmm, prizes -- but also because I think it will be good practice for me to have to write every day. Of course, the biggest problem is going to be my memory. There's every chance that I'll forget, not just because of weekends, when I like to avoid the computer after working at one all week, but during Thanksgiving. A holiday! My memory ain't what it used to be, folks.

Anyway, here goes. Wish me luck, a good memory, and ideas for what to write!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sweet Personality

Of course I'm a Reese's, what else?

Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

Very popular, one of you is not enough.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Billions of Dollars Later: "Mars Is Boring"

Mars Rover Beginning To Hate Mars

The Onion

Mars Rover Beginning To Hate Mars

PASADENA, CA—After nearly three years of nonstop data collection, Spirit has begun transmitting obscene gestures and confusing rants.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Short Skirt Is Not an Open Invitation

I just came across this and think it bears repeating. I believe that most people capable of committing rape aren't susceptible to rehabilitation, but there are some instances where "average" people seem to think it's okay. Read on, you'll see what I mean.

Only Rapists Can Prevent Rape

A lot has been said about how to prevent rape. Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn't have long hair and women shouldn't wear short skirts. Women shouldn't leave drinks unattended. Hell, they shouldn't dare to get drunk at all. Instead of that bullshit, how about:
  • If a woman is drunk, don't rape her.
  • If a woman is walking alone at night, don't rape her.
  • If a woman is drugged and unconscious, don't rape her.
  • If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don't rape her.
  • If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don't rape her.
  • If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you're still hung up on, don't rape her.
  • If a woman is asleep in her bed, don't rape her.
  • If a woman is asleep in your bed, don't rape her.
  • If a woman is doing her laundry, don't rape her.
  • If a woman is in a coma, don't rape her.
  • If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don't rape her.
  • If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don't rape her.
  • If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don't rape her.
  • If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don't rape her.
  • If your step-daughter is watching TV, don't rape her.
  • If you break into a house and find a woman there, don't rape her.
  • If your friend thinks it's okay to rape someone, tell him it's not, and that he's not your friend.
  • If your "friend" tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.
  • If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there's an unconscious woman upstairs and it's your turn, don't rape her, call the police and tell the guy he's a rapist.
  • Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it's not okay to rape someone.
  • Don't tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
  • Don't imply that she could have avoided it if she'd only done/not done x.
  • Don't imply that it's in any way her fault.
  • Don't let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he "got some" with the drunk girl.
  • Don't perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.
-author unknown

Friday, October 20, 2006

Slow Your Boat

I have always felt that I was born in the wrong time. I like to do most things at a leisurely pace, I hate crowds and traffic, I don't particularly like fast food, and I wish I could walk to the grocery store, to a diner or cafe, to visit friends, without it being dangerous, weird, or just plain impossible.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered there are other people who agree, who think things ought to be done -- and more importantly, can be done -- differently. Better. The trouble is, it still costs too much to do most of what I'd like to do. I fall into the heavily burdened middle class, who aren't rich enough to hire attorneys and accountants to hide the bulk of our money so we don't have to pay taxes on it, and who aren't poor enough to benefit from government and private aid. No one wants to help the middle class; we're the ones helping everyone else.

Anyway, that mini-rant over, I've read some interesting books lately that relate to this topic in one way or another.

In his book In Praise of Slowness, Canadian journalist Carl Honoré examines how fast-paced our world has become and what we've lost in the process: health, happiness, connectedness, contentment. For example, did you know that the average American spends seventy-two minutes of every day behind the wheel of a car? That Americans spend forty percent less time with their children than they did in the 1960s? But Honoré doesn't just present a gloomy picture, he goes on to discuss the solution: the worldwide "slow" movement. Depressing, fascinating, and ultimately encouraging, I highly recommend it.

I've also recently read Fast Food Nation, Don't Eat This Book, and Chew On This, which all examine the fast food industry and what it's done -- and is still doing -- to our health, from our expanding waistlines and heart problems to toxic conditions at the feedlots and "farms" where their meat comes from, and to our economy. There's nothing natural or healthy involved, from the food processing to the finished products to the franchise management to the manipulation of the consumers, particularly children.

It's chilling to realize that other countries are rioting and refusing to let these big companies get away with all of their questionable practices while Americans just keep shoveling it in. And while these companies are responding to pressures overseas, they don't necessarily make the same changes here. Because it would cost too much.

Never mind that they've already made more money than anyone should be allowed to who isn't giving more back. Besides heart attacks, diabetes, animal cruelty, and e. coli, that is.

You could try writing your congressman (or –woman) but odds are they won’t be able (or won’t want) to take on these companies’ powerful lobbies. They keep a lot of politicians in their pockets. It seems to me the big companies have got it all backwards: if they put that money toward cleaning up their practices and producing clean, healthy, tasty food, they wouldn’t need to pay the politicians to cover for them. Right?

I’m just happy there are people out there getting fed up with this stuff (lame pun not intended) and letting us know and really doing something about it. My little contribution for now is just passing it along. But I’m going to keep trying to do more.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Skidboot the Dog

Wow. What a great dog.

(Warning -- this is a bit of a tearjerker.)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Poor Sass

Well, we ended up having to take Sass to an emergency vet clinic a few weeks ago when she was so sick. We drove about an hour and a half to get there and of course she seemed better once we arrived. But they ran tests and diagnosed pancreatitis. Which is potentially fatal. So he gave us some medicine, injected some water under her skin to hydrate her, and told us to feed her prescription food. And then we drove back, getting home around 2:30 a.m. We were all exhausted. Molly was thrilled that we were home.

Sass can't have any more people food, since that's apparently what made her sick, so we've been giving her the prescription food. She is NOT HAPPY. She eats her food now only when she's finally so hungry that she can't stand it. And she can go a while with no food, believe me.

I can't really blame her; here's what it looks like:

Poor Molly has to eat it, too. Otherwise Sass just goes over and eats her food. So they're both on a diet. They've lost weight, especially Molly, and they seem to feel much better. So it's worth it.

I can't believe we did this to her; we feel incredibly guilty. It was breaking my heart when she looked so forlorn and I didn't know what to do to help her. And that was before I knew we had done this to her! Now she doesn't get any people food at all, so she watches us with sad eyes while we're eating. It's hard because we can't explain to her why she can't have table scraps anymore, but there's nothing we can do about it. We're just thankful that she's feeling better.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Small Town Life, Too

Another example of what I love about small towns:

If a man's home can't be his castle, then why not his parking spot? If your car is feeling neglected, maybe you should redecorate its personal space.

Call Percy, the Pasha of Parking Place Pulchritude:

You may not be able to tell how much he's added from the first picture to the second and third, but believe me, it's quite a bit. Oh, that persnickety Percy, always perfecting...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Catching Up

I had surgery about two weeks ago -- well, an "outpatient procedure," which sounds much less impressive but still hurts, dammit. I guess things are okay; healing, anyway, which is something. I got home afterwards, in pain and sleepy yet restless, just generally miserable, really, and this is the day that my landlord decides to have our dangerous could-explode-any-minute oven replaced. And it took for-fricking-EVER. Not very restful. My mother, who went with me for the surgery -- excuse me, procedure -- fielded most of it and stayed with me until my hubby got home from work. (Thanks again, Mom!) It was a yucky day from start to finish. But after recently reading again about hospitals killing their patients, I feel lucky to be healing and reasonably sure no one left any foreign objects inside me.

We're not having a lot of luck with our house search. We have lots of doctors here, for some reason, some sort of Heal America program, I guess, and they don't seem to mind dropping a ridiculous amount of money on houses, thereby ruining the housing market for the rest of us. Please wish us luck, people! Cross your fingers, say a little prayer, think good thoughts, whatever you like, but get busy.

Poor Sass isn't feeling well; when I went home for lunch I found she had tossed her biscuits, and she's been acting oddly all day. I wish she could tell me what's going on; it's incredibly frustrating not knowing what's wrong. Yesterday I took her to the vet to have her nails clipped (she has black nails, so we're afraid we'll hurt her) and the lady who did them was really rough and the clippers were blunt and she cut two or three too close and my poor baby bled. She didn't even yelp or whimper, poor little thing, just endured it. I guess we might as well do her nails ourselves from now on; I don't think we'll do worse and we may do better since we actually care.

Anyway, more good thoughts and prayers for Sass, if you please. I hate it when she feels bad and looks at me with those big sad eyes and I can't do anything for her.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Who'd a Thunk?

Spoiler Alert: For those of you who don't want to know the Truth About Elmo, read no further!

I just found on another blog that Elmo is voiced -- or, rather, brought to life -- by a big black guy. I find that to be incredibly amusing. And he seems like a nice guy, which is good since Elmo is not only adorable but communicates with children regularly.

Go here to see.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Gray Girls

I just realized that I haven't posted a picture of our girls here yet (at least I don't think so). So here they are:

Adorable, aren't they? Well, we think so. Sassy is to the left, Molly to the right.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Small Town Life

Here's an example of what I love about living in a small town:

Avast, ye scurvy dog!

  • Does (do) your lady love(s) need a reminder of your constant, if unwashed, love?
  • Does your parrot deserve an extravagant apology for your persistent insensitive allusions to her as "shoulder bling"?
  • Do you need to disarm your equally toothless and limb-challenged adversary, thus granting yourself ample time to find the treasure conveniently marked with a big red X on the map you alone were lucky enough to find rolled up in a bottle that washed up on the beach where you were stranded when you double-crossed your boss?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you've struck gold, matey! Unhand that telescope and shiver your timbers on over to:

Jolly Roger's Flowers ~N~ More
Your One-Stop Shop for Booty and Plunder
(Minus the Messy Inconvenience of Maiming and Killing)

We Welcome Spanish Doubloons!
We also accept Visa, MasterCard, and most traveler's checks.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Groovy Tunes

Lately I’ve been on a quest to gather songs that trigger fond childhood memories. Right now I'm working on the 70s. I thought I’d end up with maybe around a hundred songs, but as it turned out, it was closer to four hundred! (So sue me for having a happy childhood.)

I really miss songs that tell stories. When I was little, I would act them out with my sisters and cousins and that was some kind of fun. It really was. But there’s no acting out a song that consists of a chorus repeated ten times. So, on my list of favorite songs are such classics as Vicki Lawrence’s “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” and Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe.”

I can’t begin to tell you how much I’m enjoying listening to these songs again! I’m planning to do the same thing with the 80s and 90s but not right away. It is quite an undertaking. Thank goodness for samples at Amazon and elsewhere that I can check to make sure I’m finding the songs I think I remember.

(And yes, I realize I’m completely aging myself with this post, but if you’re polite, you won’t mention it.)

Take Me Home, Country Roads

My husband and I are currently looking for a house. Or land on which to build a house. In a small town like ours, it's not always easy to find what you're looking for. Or even anything for sale, sometimes. Well, that's not strictly true; there is always something for sale. Unfortunately, it's often bounded by neighbors with rusted-out former vehicles up on blocks, several small mysterious outbuildings crowding the overgrown front yard, vicious starving animals that are probably small dogs but could just as easily be large voluble rats, and every Christmas decoration known to man stuffed into crevices not already occupied by said vehicles, buildings, or animals. And who knows what's going on in the back?

No thanks.

There have been a few possibilities. And I have to say everyone we've spoken to has been extraordinarily nice. I do realize they are trying to make a sale, so they're probably not going to show their backsides, but still. Friendly. I can't tell you how many times we've heard, "Now, I'm own be honest witcha..."

This is usually a ginormous red flag to me, signalling complete dishonesty of the barefaced variety, but who knows? Maybe they are being honest. Word gets around in a small town in about two shakes of a lamb's tail (one if it's particularly scandalous). Quick, is what I'm saying. It's not good for business if it gets around that you're a little shady in your dealings. Not honest business, anyway.

I keep hoping for the best in people and trying to see it even if my eyes are almost closed from squinting so hard. Sometimes I choose to believe they're being honest, when we have no way of knowing for sure. I opt for the positive. My husband is the opposite; he believes all people are selfish and only out for themselves. Sadly, he is often proved right. I hate that.

Anyway, wish us luck as we continue our quest. We need it!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Grudge Match

Have you ever played an online game that seemed to get more difficult as you played, never allowing you to win? That's counterintuitive, to me; it seems like a game should take pity on you as you stack up the losses, and get easier little by little until eventually you win, like those computer-administered standardized test problems. I mean, they want you to enjoy the game so you'll buy it, right? Or at least keep coming back for more and boosting their site stats?

Of course, this presupposes that it's not completely random. But sometimes it seems as if the game senses your desperation or, in my case, grim determination to win, and keeps almost being defeated. I don't mind a challenge; I enjoy it, relish it even. But I don't like being taunted. Especially by a machine. That's just not right.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Those of you who work with the public know the trials and travails that go with the territory. But, for those of you who don’t enjoy daily contact with the rude and the malodorous, I'd like to share with you a recent encounter.

This one lady (I use the term loosely) (no pun intended!) comes in regularly to chat on Yahoo IM. Her visits also seem to regularly entail dating services. Okay, whatever. No big deal, not my business. BUT. Now we only have one computer that has a working Yahoo IM application. We’ve reported this repeatedly, but our computer people aren’t interested in getting this fixed. They continually inform us that the library is not at the top of their priority list. (Which leads to the obvious question of why we have to be open all day Saturday and some of Sunday when the vital offices that get all their computers worked on first -- because otherwise work isn't getting done -- are closed???)

But I digress. To get back to the story, this lady, okay, woman, would come in and loudly complain if anyone was on that computer for TOO LONG or God forbid, WASN’T USING YAHOO IM. So I had to institute a sign-in sheet for that computer with a one-hour time limit. Not an unreasonable request, and I didn’t mind doing it, but of course she still complained.

Then another patron told me about a url that allows you to use instant messenger programs, a sort of back door to them. (It’s, if you’re interested.) So I posted a sign with that url and took down the sign-in sheet for the one computer, as it wasn’t really effective anyway.

So what did our friend do? I'm sure you guessed it: she complained. She claimed the url doesn’t work, even though it worked for me and it has worked for countless others. Fine, whatever, but I’m not making people get off that computer just because she likes the application better. I’m sorry that we only have it on one machine, and I’ve asked them repeatedly to fix this or give me authorization to, but no go. I explained this and she finally sort of let it go. For now anyway.

Then yesterday she came in to use a computer. There are eleven computers in my area (Reference) and only two people were in here using computers. That left nine other computers free. NINE. So which one did she choose? The one that some lame-o patron decided to reconfigure by running the mouse with the cord coming from under the front of the desk/table instead of dropping behind like it’s supposed to! So she, of course, complained and asked me to fix it. I said I would get someone to come fix it, because I didn’t want to crawl around in a skirt, and I mentioned that there were several other available computers. She said she’d fix this one and proceeded to try, struggling with her ridiculously long fake fingernails, unplugging something else instead, and then finally unplugging the mouse, dropping the cord behind the desk, and plugging it back in.

While I was standing next to her to make sure everything got plugged in correctly (she was busily unplugging and replugging by the time I got over there), a wave of pure bodily funk poured off her and streamed right up my defenseless nostrils. UGH. It was not only body odor, which anyone working with the public or children of a certain age is familiar with. In addition to that lovely aroma was added the delicate, flowery perfume of an overweight woman who needs (a) a good bath with stout soap, a lathery washcloth, and lots o’ scrubbin’, (b) superstrength FDS, (c) DOUCHE DOUCHE DOUCHE, or possibly (d) all of the above. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular stench, I’m here to tell you it is NOT just "not-so-fresh." I work with soldiers, people, and they do not smell this bad! I had to fake a reason to return to my desk to avoid gagging or turning blue from holding my breath.

Then of course the mouse wouldn’t work. I told her the computer just needed rebooting so it could recognize the mouse, and braced myself to walk back over there. Because the reboot took longer than oh my God two seconds, what did she do? She MOVED TO ANOTHER COMPUTER.

Look, lady, if I can stand here breathing your stinkation for as long as it takes a computer to reboot, that I have to reboot because you INSISTED on using it, you can damn well sit there and wait!!

But no. She moved on. Which at least had the blessed effect of removing the cloud of stink from my immediate breathing area, allowing me to get the computer logged in again and retreat to my desk for some relatively pure oxygen before passing out. Ahh, sweet breathable air! I just sat and breathed for a few moments and made a mental note to tell my husband that if he ever smells the slightest bit of funk emanating from me to not let me leave the house even if it takes a full nelson to stop me. She is fortunate, constant reader, that dating services do not include scratch-n-sniff capabilities or smell-o-rama.

And lest you think I am being too hard on her, let me remind you that she is consistently troublesome and often downright rude. I didn't even mention the long loud conversations on her cell phone.

I try to be understanding and accommodating, as that is not only part of my job but also my nature, and I can take a lot, but the odor is what finally got me. I've discovered my Waterloo. A sensitive olfactory nerve is not your friend if you work with the public.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Love / Hate

Here's something I don't like about the blog world -- I find people who seem really great, funny, interesting, people I'd like to know, then, of course, find out they live a thousand miles away. At least. And since I'm more of a lurker than a commenter, they'll never get to know me at all, even virtually. I find that sad, for some reason. Like a missed opportunity.

I do realize that even though they seem great and I feel like we would be immediate friends, like first-graders bonding the first day of school because they have the same backpack, instantly recognizing soulmate potential by their shared taste in what they've chosen to show the world as they walk away, that might not actually be the case. They might not be so great, or they might think I'm not so great. I like to think I generally have a pretty firm grasp of reality.

Of course, the thing I really like about the blog world is that I get to "meet" these interesting people. And I don't even have to cook dinner for them or get dressed to go out with them or clean up after they come to visit. (Or, more likely, before they come to visit.) What could be easier than that?

And it's lovely to be able to read things by people who make me laugh, who make me feel like I'm not the only person in the world who thinks this way, or the only one who has gone through that, people with whom I can identify. Especially since they're people I otherwise wouldn't have known at all.

So, turns out I love the blogging world more than I hate it. Which is good, since that's where I'm writing about it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Library World

I was just doing my little library job, which at that moment entailed cutting out a picture of an album cover I printed from Amazon because we no longer have the one that came with the CD, when it occurred to me that I know people who would think (or possibly say), "If that was my job, I'd have to kill myself." I realized that I once would have thought that, but not anymore. I was actually kind of enjoying myself.

Does this mean I've grown up? Given up? Have I lowered my expectations too much or have they just become realistic? Should I go ahead and kill myself now or wait to see what happens next? Maybe I'll staple some papers together! Or print out a sign that no one will read! Or receive a work-related mass email that means nothing to me!

That's what I live for: those goose-bump moments that take you by surprise.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Links of Interest

I just realized how much I like reading people's blogs and finding cool things to check out from them. So here's my contribution.

If you like (or think you might) Justin Timberlake, you can check out his latest single at his website. Sweet to be able to listen to the whole song from there! And it's pretty good. A little repetitious for me, and it doesn't really sound like him, which I guess is neither here nor there. Nor anywhere, really.

You can also check out Nelly Furtado's latest at her site. I'm not so crazy about that one.

If you like Mah Jong, here is a fun version.

This site has cartoons based on spam subject lines. Some of them are downright hilarious. Be sure to check out HELLO ME NOT DEAD.

A lot of Kirsten Ulve's work reminds me of animation and art when I was a kid. Very groovy.

Fun t-shirts here and here.

Okay, that's all for now. Enjoy!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Should I?

You Should Get a PhD in Liberal Arts

(like political science, literature, or philosophy)

You're a great thinker and a true philosopher.

You'd make a talented professor or writer.


You Are a Chow Puppy

Don't fence me in! You're an independent spirit that won't be tied down.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Good Morning, Sunshine!

I am a librarian, and I haven’t discussed that at all, so I figure it’s about time. I don’t really have a lot of funny/weird stories because much of my time has been spent in the back, cataloging. Well, okay, so I don’t have a lot of funny/weird stories about patrons.

But I have had jobs at different libraries, and have spent my share of time on the reference desk (especially now that I practically live at one), so I have had some close encounters with the strange and the smelly.

The worst experience so far that didn’t involve an encounter with an actual human was finding child pornography downloaded onto our computers. Nice way to start the day! This was a whole new level of disgusting and disturbing. And frustrating, as I was told by our computer people that there was “nothing they could do.” I beg your pardon? So now I just look for questionable things on the desktop every so often and delete what I find.

(Why are people so disgusting?!?!)

One day not too long ago I walked up to my desk, which is the reference desk. (Yes, as you may have suspected from an earlier comment, my desk is in fact the reference desk. I could go on and on about this state of affairs but I’ll spare you. For now.) There is a patron talking on my phone! Now, we provide a phone for patrons to use for local calls, completely free of charge. It is not the one on my desk.

So, as he was not actually speaking at the time, I said, “Sir, you’re not supposed to be using this phone.” He nodded and smiled like I’d just said, “Good morning, you handsome devil!”

I came around the desk, put my things away, and logged on to my computer. Thinking, Now he’ll realize this is my desk and he’ll get off the phone. Silly me! Courtesy is for fools, apparently.

He kept talking and talking, about some position or job offer or something. I made eye contact and told him again he needed to get off this phone. He didn’t. Finally, he wrapped up his conversation, just as I was about to disconnect the phone.

I told him again, “Sir, you’re not allowed to use this phone. We provide one in the computer lab for your use.”

He said, very sarcastically, “Oh, I’m sorry, I thought it would be all right, it was an urgency.” (Yes, he said urgency instead of emergency.) (And it wasn’t either one.)

I said, not sarcastic at all, and trying hard to be polite, “I’m sorry, but it didn’t sound like an emergency to me. This is my phone, and patrons aren’t supposed to use it.”

He said, “Oh, I didn’t realize you paid the bill on this phone.” Each word simply dripping sarcasm. Really, I think he cornered the market on it.

I said, clutching my patience and professionalism to me so tightly they could not breathe, “I don’t, sir, but it’s still my work phone. How would you like it if I walked into your office and started using your phone?”

He said, “If it was an urgency, I wouldn’t mind.” The voice of reason and compassion!

I said, “Well, it didn’t sound like an emergency to me.”

And there we left it.

Another wonderful start to another wonderful day!!

(Don't you just hate when you can’t think of anything clever to say when you really need to and then later think of all the great things you should have said?)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

And Now for Something Completely Different

It has been pointed out to me that my last post was very similar to a previous post of mine, so today's post will be brief, and, as promised, completely different.

Product Plug: CoverGirl LashExact Mascara

It really does go on without clumping, and I've had no trouble with it smearing or flaking! Love it!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Greener Grass

I'm back! With another brilliant and incisive personal post.

I keep running into people, myself included (not that I actually run into myself, mind you), who say things along these lines: “I hate my life”; “my life sucks”; “I’ve got to get out of here!” Now, these people are not in what appear to be horrible situations – they have jobs, homes, clothing to wear, food to eat. Most of them also have some spending money for the occasional CD, movie, dinner out, new something-they-don’t-really-need-but-that-makes-them-momentarily-happier. So what gives? Why this miasma of misery? There’s no real reason that I know of that any one of these people (myself included) can’t do something to make themselves happier. And yet they (we) don’t. I wonder why.

Of course, I suspect that some of it is a generational funk. We of the Me Generation and after were not raised to have the stiff upper lip, “theirs not to reason why” attitude. We are, on the whole, soft. And we have the luxury of looking around to see what other people have and what they’re doing and now we have a whole generation trying to keep up with the Joneses. Which is, as we all know, a horrible downward spiral with no happy Disney ending in sight.

But it seems like we do work harder with less to show for it these days, and in some areas you practically have to bankrupt yourself to get your children a decent education (which is sooo not right). I don’t think this is all a keeping-up-with-the-J’s kind of thing. I think we’ve got some serious issues as a nation that no one is willing to address. Oh well, easy for me to say, I guess. I’m not exactly proposing solutions here.

I also think our increased globalization contributes to this free-floating wretchedness. Before TV, who knew that some inexcusable excrescence like Paris Hilton (Lindsay Lohan, Tara Reid, [insert drunken bimbo here]) even existed? Or if we did know, we could be fooled into thinking she actually deserved to live by clever stage managing. Now we have her publicly declaring herself unfit for any place in civilized society every time we turn around, whether it be out of her own mouth, by yet another slit-eyed drunken picture in yet another mimbo’s jet / limo / arms, or simply by the outfit she’s wearing. People like me, relatively normal people who work hard, are honest, and try to do good things, are well on our way to early strokes because of the unfairness of it all. And I think we have a point.

And yet.

I know I could do more with my life that would make me happier and more satisfied. But I feel like I can’t, for some reason. Am I paralyzed by the staggering array of choices I have today? Am I afraid that it wouldn’t be all I had cracked it up to be in my imaginings? Am I simply afraid of failure, that if I fail, I won’t have any money, and then no safety net for when I inevitably have a stray piano fall on my head or catch cancer from a passing public toilet seat?

Sigh. Okay, so I realize I’ve got a little problem here. (And I don't mean catching cancer from a toilet seat. I know that’s not possible. It’s gout from a toilet seat, cancer from burned hotdogs.) What I find interesting is that so many other people I know seem to have the same problem. Why so much dissatisfaction? Why so much anger?

I think we are overcrowded and in too much of a hurry and TV is ruining us all.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Ten Things I Find Undeniably Attractive

10. Capris / Gauchos / Culottes

9. Lingerie as outerwear, including parts, like bra straps; equally attractive: missing lingerie (specifically a slip, a brilliant invention intended to keep your skirt from wadding up between your thighs as you walk)

8. Pants hanging on to your hips/buttocks solely by the grace of God

7. A tongue ring that makes it impossible for you to speak properly

6. Very large tattoos across your pregnant belly

5. Clothing worn two or three sizes too small, when you really don’t have anything to flaunt (or, rather, you have too much)

4. Your Cadillac painted Pepto-Bismol pink

3. Calvin urinating on anything on your rear windshield

2. Git Her Done (or any variant thereof) across your rear windshield

1. Your car proudly proclaiming in large sparkly pink letters:
There Goes Miss Wal-Mart

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Birds in Tuxedos

Speaking of good movies (weren't we?), have you seen March of the Penguins? Brilliant! I hate to admit that a Frenchman did anything worthwhile, partly because ze French were so rude to me when I was over there years ago, but I have to admit it in this case. I know it’s been out a long while now and I should realize that the world’s love affair with penguins has just about run its course, but as mine hasn’t, I feel compelled to talk about the cute little buggers. Of course, the movie isn’t cute, or about them being cute (well, partly; have you seen those baby penguins?!). It’s mostly about them being so darn intrepid. It’s hard for me to watch, actually; I have a really hard time seeing animals suffer hardships or, God forbid, actually die as I watch helplessly, sitting on my couch with no way to just pick him up, dammit!

This movie made me alternately admire the penguins for steadfastly persevering in spite of the eternal hardships they endure and condemn them for so stupidly enduring such ridiculous hardships. I know it’s not their fault, of course; I realize they don’t have a choice. Evolution plunked them down in this Godforsaken place and it’s nothing less than astonishing that they’ve survived at all. The emotion I felt most keenly, however, was shame. I was (and remain) ashamed of ever complaining about anything in my life. (Of course I still do; I’m got too many years invested in this attitude to shed it that easily. But I want to be better; that counts for something, right?)

I really wanted to adopt all of those poignantly comical (comically poignant?) penguins and put them somewhere cold (but not an icy vortex that has got to be one of the circles of Hell), free from predatory seals (never expected to say that), and full of nice plump fish to eat (sorry, fish). Hmm, I seem to have invented a zoo (or an aquarium, the Zoo with Water). Ideally the penguins wouldn’t have to be dependent on people to take care of them in their little wet zoo, but then we’re back to Nature and survival of the fittest. Sigh. Why can’t we all just get along?!

Okay, I know, everything has to eat, one way or another. Circle of life, it’s natural and beautiful, yada, yada, yada. But as I tell my father every time he wants to watch a nature show featuring animals eating animals (usually when we're trying to eat), “I know it’s Nature, but I don’t have to watch it.”

With this movie, I’m glad I did. If you haven’t seen it, rent it immediately. And make sure you have plenty of Kleenex.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Greatest Escape

Reading is the perfect escape for me and I’ve just figured out why. I guess I’ve known why, really, intuitively, I simply never articulated it before. Here it is: not only is it an escape from a world I don’t much like (well, the people part, anyway), but it is an escape into a world I largely get to create. I choose the book to match my mood and then while reading, I get to imagine the characters, the place, everything, just how I want it to be. The power!

Movies can be nice escapism, but everything is there for you, even forced on you. Not only do you not have to think or put any effort into it beyond looking and listening, there’s really only so much you can do. Not that I’m anti-movie. I love a good movie; it’s just that there are so few of them out there.

TV is the same, but it’s usually an even more vapid medium than film. That being said, there are TV shows that I love. One is the old Gilmore Girls, as anyone reading this blog already knows. Others are Joss Whedon’s creations – Buffy, Angel, and the cruelly shafted way-way-way too short-lived Firefly. What a great show that was. They all were, really, though Buffy went into a decline, in my opinion, before it finally ended. Part of the reason I like these shows so much is that they were (and to some extent Gilmore Girls still is) so well-written, and (mostly) so well-acted. But also they were all great at creating atmosphere and pulling the audience into their world. I felt like I knew all of those people, and I cared about what they were doing.

But I still prefer to read. I like the freedom of creating my own images to go with the story. I’m usually disappointed when a book I like is turned into a movie or television show, even if the adaptation is extremely well-done. Because now I’ll picture Daniel Radcliffe every time I read a Harry Potter book, and I no longer remember how I pictured Harry when I first read The Sorcerer’s Stone. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Daniel Radcliffe; I’m not sure they could have found a better young actor to play Harry Potter. But he’s still not my Harry.

So, vive le livre! The book is dead; long live the book!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I had forgotten how much I liked the Police song Synchronicity II until I listened to it recently. (Yes, it's been Old Home Week with me and music lately.) I think it's brilliant. As is, of course, King of Pain , which I love, love, love. I have never figured out why it wasn't more popular.

I would like to take a moment to thank Sting for references to such things as Mephistopheles and the Scylla and Charybdis in his songs. Songs that were played on the radio. A lot. Do we get such literary references in popular music these days? I think not. He easily stumped me, callow youth that I was, but he also stumped my English teacher, who of course did not admit it but loftily told me to look it up, as that was the best way to learn. Indeed it was. (Not to mention the only way.)

But I don't want to be too hard on my teacher, whom we all loved. We are talking small-town Louisiana public school here, not exactly an exclusive prep school. But hey, it was free and I would say I got a pretty good general education there.

I've found Sting's more recent works to be disappointing; actually I haven't liked anything since ...Nothing Like the Sun. Admittedly I never really listened to much after that besides what I heard on the radio, but if I didn't like those songs, why should I buy an album or cassette (yes, those days, in the Before Time, in the long-long ago) on the off chance I would like any of the other songs? (Call me cheap, but I'm not exactly made of money. Keep in mind there was no burning or ripping of songs then; you were lucky if you could hold your tape recorder up to your radio and catch a decent rendition without your mom or sister bursting into the room or the DJ talking over the end and effing it all up.)

To give Sting the benefit of the doubt, maybe it's me. Maybe I changed. Maybe I just needed some time alone.

Be that as it may, I miss intelligent, if a bit pretentious, lyrics in pop songs. Imagine it, pop songs! To whom can Sting pass this literary torch? O Modern Pop Music, where is thy Sting?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lurning Rules!

Here’s what prompted this entry. I went to a fast food chain for lunch and found some creative expression scratched onto the surface of the table where I sat. There was the obligatory picture or two with “Jester” spelled out in oddly-shaped letters. So far, so typical. Then, our valiant artist could restrain himself no longer – “Vandelysm Rules!” he exclaimed defiantly to an uncaring universe.

Sigh. It’s bad enough that people feel the need to ruin every smooth surface they encounter, just to prove they exist, apparently, but to misspell it?! I think the universe will continue to be cold and uncaring as long as it can't understand the message.

In a similar example, a friend of mine once told me that while waiting to contest a traffic ticket, he found himself sitting next to “Sinerman,” according to the gent’s burly tattooed forearm. So he said, “Sinerman?” (pronouncing it as spelled, sīn' ur măn). The very large and fairly hirsute gentleman in question glared at him from under unruly brows and from deep within the mass of muscle and beer belly growled, “That’s Sinnerman.” Ah, of course it is.

We laughed and laughed. (Later, of course.) Nothing like a permanent advertisement of your ignorance, prominently displayed on your own body. I’m not sure that can be topped.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Very Serious Entry

After my previous post, I'm now going to regress to babbling about inconsequential things, like TV shows. I've heard that Amy Sherman-Palladino, she of the wacky top hats and self-conscious witticisms, is leaving The Gilmore Girls. I don't know if this is good or bad. It's good if the horrible downward spiral the show has been in for the last two seasons is her doing. It has to be her doing, or at least it's been done with her blessing. It's her show, after all. (And hubby Daniel Palladino's, because he's her husband. I just read that he has something to do with Family Guy, which explains a lot, to me anyway.) So maybe it will get a breath of fresh air with their departure and find its feet again.

Here's what I'd like to see... Luke back to his old good self, but more interesting; Lorelai and Luke together and happy (stop driving them apart, it's annoying and there's more going on on this show than just these two and their romance, so get them together already!); more of April, who is interesting, but not of her mom, who is not; more of Sookie, who is adorable; more of Paris, who is hilarious (sorry, unintentional rhyme); more of Lane and her band because they're way more fun than Rory and her snooty friends; more of Lorelai, because Lauren Graham makes this show; more of Emily and Richard, because the actors are just so darn good. LESS OF RORY. I'm sick of Snow White and how perfect we're supposed to think she is. SHE'S BORING.

And please make Logan's plane to London go down in a fiery mixture of Dalmore 62 and self-satisfaction (or something, anything really, as long as he's GONE). I don't like that guy. And no one else I know does either. I mean, really, who likes a young man who addresses grandparents by their first names? Presumptuous much? Who likes someone who refers to other adults by cheesy nicknames like "Ace" (or Buddy or Sport)? I have yet to like anyone who refers to others in this arrogant pseudo-hearty "I can't be bothered to learn or remember your real name" way. (Personally, I'm always tempted to respond to a "Hey, Buddy!" with a "Hello, Ass!" but I am regrettably too polite to actually do it.)

So who does like this character? The writers? Stop trying to make him sympathetic, we aren't buying it. Poor little rich rich rich rich rich boy. Gag. Whatever. Give me that money and I promise I'd be happy! I'd even go work for the irredeemably awful Mitchum Huntzberger.

I am ready to bid Amy and Daniel a happy adieu, hoping that this means the show can get back on a good track. I am trying not to feel sure that it is doomed. Ms. Top Hat did a great job starting this show, and though I think it tried too hard at the beginning to be clever and quirky, it ended up working, largely because of the great cast. So I say kudos for a great show! I just wish it could have stayed great longer.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Enlighten Up!

It is a depressing thought to me that humankind may be the peak of evolution. Given how much havoc we wreak in the world, it seems more like devolution to me.

On the whole, I much prefer animals to people. When we see someone acting in a cruel, barbaric way, we say they are acting like an animal. But they aren't; they're worse. Animals generally act in rational ways. They have a purpose: survival, protection, mating, even friendship and affection. People, on the other hand, seem often to act completely irrationally, sometimes even to their own detriment. It makes no sense. I think that having more evolved, complex brains leads to an increased probability of something going haywire. Like the more complicated an object you buy - stereo system, DVD player, whatever - the more likely it is that something will break. Well, that seems obvious, I know.

Anyway, I just wanted to make a plea for all the homeless pets out there: PLEASE adopt a homeless pet rather than buying an expensive (and often problem-riddled) purebreed or designer dog! These abandoned animals deserve love and care too. And if you can't or don't want to take care of a pet properly, DON'T GET ONE. And don't buy one for your child, expecting him or her to take good care of it, unless you have an unusually responsible and caring child.

Both of our dogs are rescued dogs and we couldn't be happier with them. One is a mix and the other a purebreed, but both were neglected and mistreated. I can't imagine doing anything to hurt something so loving and loyal and utterly dependent on me.

If you don't want to adopt a pet, please consider donating money or volunteering your time at a reputable shelter or pet rescue organization. These animals need all the help they can get. I think it's true that the more a society takes care of its vulnerable -- including children, the elderly, and pets -- the more enlightened it is. Enlighten up, people!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Res Ipsa Loquitur, I Hardly Knew Ye

I recently popped in my CD of U2's The Joshua Tree (their best album hands-down) after not listening to it for, quite literally, years. I remember every word.

This set me thinking. Why is it that I remember every single lyric to every single song on this album (after 19 years) when I can't remember one thing from law school (after 13) ?! Well, okay, I remember some random Latin phrases (I got your mens rea right here. No?) but, while I remember what the two I've used here actually mean, I'm not sure I would remember the meaning of one other phrase. Not one.

Of course, I haven't practiced law since passing the Bar (a thrilling and literally unbelievable experience), so that probably has something to do with it. And I was MUCH less diligent about studying law than listening to Bono croon, groan, bellow, or even sing anything from their albums up to and including The Joshua Tree.

Maybe if my professors had sung the lessons...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Miss Direction

Is it just me, or does it seem like most people aren’t really happy with their lives? Maybe I should re-word that. Most people seem to me unhappy with their jobs, not necessarily their entire lives. But as your job is a big part of your life, it’s easy to make such an overstatement. I know I’m not content with where I am in my life, but I’m not really sure what to do about it. And it seems like many people I know are in the same discontented boat, rowing with our oars of doubt and confusion, gliding forth with our billowing sails full of mistakes and misjudgments.

Okay, I’ll stop with the boat analogy. But you get my drift. (Ah, see what I did there?) Anyway, I always thought I’d be doing something else with my life, something more, but I never had a clear idea of what that something was. I was not born with an outstanding talent that gave me a clear path to follow; I was born neither with a lot of money to give me the leisure to try different things at will, nor with very little money, so that I had to figure out what to do with my life from an early age; I was also not born with an exceptional amount of drive or ambition. I was one of those kids whose parents bemoan the fact that they aren’t living up to their potential. And they were right; I didn’t.

So now, while not miserable, I am mildly disgruntled. It’s like something that makes you uncomfortable but you aren’t quite sure what it is, like a crooked picture on the wall that you haven’t yet noticed consciously. And I still have no clear idea of what I should be doing.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Russian literature

Here's another thing I don't really get... why great Russian literature is so great. Granted, I only have limited experience -- Anna Karenina and now The Brothers Karamazov -- but they are leaving me a little cold. Maybe it's the translations; they can be off-putting. Very stilted, using words and phrases in ways that seem unnatural for English language speakers. I don't get why they aren't translated more naturally, but then I don't know the first thing about Russian so maybe the translations are spot-on. I have to say I'm enjoying Dostoevsky more than Tolstoy; at least he has a sense of humor! And lest anyone think I'm a complete Philistine, let me say that I like the books overall and I think parts of them are brilliant. I'm just a little underwhelmed.

Can you guess, gentle reader, which is which?

Maybe it's the beards that make them cranky. Maybe a long beard catching random things in it that you have to comb out makes you stop and think about the big picture, the big questions in life. Does God get food caught in his beard? No, God doesn't eat. Does He? Does He get stars caught in his beard? No, He's not corporeal. Is He? Does He exist? Do I exist? Is there life after death or just bleak black nothingness? Do I look hot in a beard or what?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I don't get it

What is this fascination that the American public has with Paris Hilton? Is it the whole trainwreck thing? I can't think of any other reason why anyone would care about this absolute waste of space. Unless it's that deal she made with Satan. To give the American public a break, maybe they can't help it -- they have to pay attention to someone so desperate for it. And maybe the überskank is trying to fill the gaping hole left by her parents' lack of attention and affection. Even so, she's stupid, selfish, spoiled, skanky, and self-important. (I just realized those all begin with s -- unintentional alliteration, yeah, I did it.) When will we all stop pretending that she has any talent or does anything worthwhile? South Park got it right when they lampooned her. I just hate that she's famous enough for them to lampoon. And for me to go on a rant about. So, let's just say I hate that anyone gives attention to someone who has all that money and then not only doesn't do anything good or useful with it, she blows it (literally and figuratively). Can't she even wear nice clothes?!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Initializing output...

Let me just begin by saying how disappointed I've become in The Gilmore Girls. I used to really enjoy it - clever writing, good acting, zany situations... But now it's sort of turned into the Rory Show, and frankly, I don't like her. Why does every other character on that show like her?! I can't stand it anymore.