Monday, May 19th 2008

Things I did not learn today
posted @ 9:54 pm in [ ]

This is by no means a complete list, but…

  1. The average rainfall in any geographical location anywhere.

  2. Any of the names of any current world leaders I didn’t already know.

  3. When the last verified sighting of a living thylocene was.

  4. Who actually is afraid of Virginia Woolf.

  5. What cat livers taste like.

  6. Where the hell Bruce Jenner got that terrible, terrible haircut all those years ago, and whether he ever got it fixed.

  7. The second fourteen digits of Pi.

  8. Why Phillip eats cold ravioli out of a can.

  9. Who won any World Series or any Oscars that I don’t specifically remember seeing.

  10. Why anybody watches American Idol, ever.

So don’t tell me! This is going great.

Saturday, February 9th 2008

Preliminary rules of picky eating
posted @ 1:05 am in [ - ]

I confessed in an early TISA (Things I Suck At) installment that I am an insanely picky eater. I believe it’s #32. In my defense, I’m a lot less picky than I used to be. As a child I would only eat about half a dozen things, and those included hot dogs, corn, spaghetti with ketchup, and Cheerios. Over the years, that repertoire has expanded considerably, but it never did include tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, or any number of perfectly normal foods regular people eat. Those little diced bits of tomato they sometimes throw all over your food in restaurants? They make excellent plate border mosaics. For some reason I’ve never quite been able to discern, I don’t recognize them as food.

I have a new friend who has been trying to figure out what-all I will and won’t eat. Honestly, I wouldn’t wish feeding me on anyone, and I tend to avoid dinner at people’s houses and stuff until I know them really well, because I don’t know what the hell I will do if someone serves me a lovely gaspacho. It’s not like I can choke it down. There must be some guidelines here somewhere. Let’s see…

  1. I do not eat the landgoing. Fish is okay, as long as it’s not too strong. Shark, for example, is nasty.

  2. I will eat tofu and tofu products, provided they are not too mushy.

  3. Raw tomatoes are evil. Tomato products are fine, cooked tomatoes are okay, sun-dried tomatoes are lovely, but the raw ones taste metallic and have those slimy, disgusting seeds, not to mention all that nasty, gelatinous goo in there. How do people eat those things without thinking of low tide or medical waste?

  4. Indeed, many foods are rendered unacceptable by their textures. Squishy is always bad. Slimy is terrible. Advocadoes, for example, might as well be slugs. Gelatinous is usually bad, unless of course it’s Jell-O. Firm is usually good, as is varied and interesting (like, say, Tempeh). Soup must be consistent, with the background perfectly smooth, and anything in the soup cannot have been cooked to bits and must still be firm. No soup clots will be tolerated at any time. Anything I have to masticate for hours on end, like celery, is suspect. Whole pickles are okay, but pickle spears are not because they’re too squishy. Paste-like textures are OK, because they’re nice and consistent: hummus, squash, mashed potatoes, goat cheese… Peanut butter is a damn nice texture, as is melted cheese.

  5. Nuts and fruit do NOT belong in candy or ice cream, because candy and ice cream are to be savored. If you slowly let a bite of Hershey Bar dissolve in your mouth and there are nuts in it, you will end up with a mouthful of wet nuts, and nobody wants that.

  6. Left to my own devices, I would probably subsist entirely on bread, cheese, and nice fruit (as opposed to, say, cranberries, which are every bit as bitter and nasty as the climates from which said gangsta fruits issue). Maybe some nice red wine.

  7. I have never been to a French or Thai restaurant where I didn’t like what I got.

  8. If you were trying to set a trap for me in the woods, good bait for the trap would include still-warm, fresh bagels. Talk about kick-ass texture!

  9. As previously noted, green tea tastes like a hot urine sample, whereas coffee is the nectar of the gods.

  10. Ironically enough, my favorite flavor is “assorted.”

I’ll supply more of the rules as they are revealed to me by further reflection and analysis.

Wednesday, June 20th 2007

Ooh, and one more!
posted @ 7:25 am in [ ]

The person whose conversation helped inspire that post added this while sending me an article about how Colorado is on fire earlier than usual this year:

“Hey. Another sign of a friend gone bad. She drives over to the massive fire burning on the far side of the town line and gives it directions to your house with a trail made of lighter fluid.”


Tuesday, June 19th 2007

Top 10 ways you can tell the friendship is really over
posted @ 11:44 am in [ - ]

I was having a phone conversation with someone yesterday, and this interesting question came up: Just because your friend ran off with your spouse or significant other, is he or she still your friend? Should you still expect to have tea? I’m thinking: No, not so much. Here are a few tips to help you cull your Christmas card list.

  1. You mortgage your house to bail her out of jail and she skips town immediately. She sends you a postcard that says only, “HA-HA!”

  2. Knowing you’re deathly allergic to peanut butter, she invites you over for some nice satay.

  3. You find a large pile of poop on your lawn with one of those little florist’s gift tag sticks in it proclaiming the poop to be to you from him. It does not appear to be gardening fertilizer.

  4. When confronted, he claims that going to the amusement park instead of showing up to donate that kidney he promised you was just “keepin’ it real.”

  5. She poisons you with anti-freeze over several years.

  6. The dummy he’s using to train his attack dog bears a striking resemblance to you and seems to be wearing your workout clothes.

  7. He shot you, or is Dick Cheney.

  8. You find her under your car with a pair of tinsnips and a pamphlet entitled, How to cut brake lines.

  9. He spray-paints “I hate you” on your car or child, or shaves it into your pets.

  10. Given the choice between receiving $5 and saving you from a scorpion pit by pressing a button, she takes the $5.

Friday, May 11th 2007

What do to with a busted-ass TV?
posted @ 11:38 pm in [ - ]

It’s like this: My old TV bit the dust a while back. While it has been replaced, it has also been sitting around in the carport, as if we are shirtless, shoeless, toothless, birth-control shirking hillbillies like the neighbors, and It Must GO. Here’s the problem, though: I can’t throw it out without forking over a bunch of cash to the Trash Pirates, because it’s too big to fit in the rolley trash bin.

But you know me. I’m a frickin’ optimist, and I like to see problems as opportunities. Here are the top five opportunities I’ve come up with thus far:

  1. Drop it off a building and put the now-smaller found pieces in the rolley trash bin
  2. Skil Saw (TM) performance art
  3. Trebuchet missile
  4. Roast it, either by bonfire, or ideally, local crematorium
  5. Go at it with a 20-pound sledge while shouting profanities about The Man

But those are just preliminary thoughts. A busted TV that’s too big to go in the rolley trash bin doesn’t come along every day, though, and I want to do something really fun with it. Thoughts?

Monday, March 26th 2007

Did you do something different?
posted @ 7:21 pm in [ ]

This cracks me up. Is it really a compliment to tell someone they look great and then ask what they did differently? Doesn’t it sort of imply that they looked like ten miles of bad road before? Oh, yes, it’s time for another top 10:

Top 10 Wiseass Responses to “Did You Do Something Different?”

  1. Yes, I’m drinking a lot more.

  2. Oh, I’ve been eating bugs.

  3. Have you tried the new Ants ‘N’ Honey facial? You should! (Extra points for getting them to do it.)

  4. It’s gotta be the donuts. (It helps to whisper this one, like you’re taking them into your confidence.)

  5. No, not really. Maybe you just look worse.

  6. Well, I did stop taking my makeup off with Comet and an emery cloth.

  7. I finally accepted [Marduk, Johnny Rotten, Cthulhu, Sascha the wienerdog, Tony Danza] as my personal Lord and savior. I have some literature for you, and we’re having a rally later. You should come. (Add 50 points for each word you do not get out because they’ve already left the room.)

  8. Hot exotic younger lover. Does it show?

  9. I spent the night in jail. But I don’t recommend it.

  10. Yeah, well, there’s a picture of me in the closet that looks like hell!

Thursday, March 15th 2007

Lamest spambots EVER!
posted @ 1:08 pm in [ - ]

As you know, I get a ton of spam, so I think of myself as something of an authority on the nature of blog spam. I primarily see three kinds of products being peddled. In order of popularity, they are: Porn, prescription drugs, and gambling. All of them are being peddled in their most alarming forms: Disturbing porn, drugs in no-longer-medicinal strengths and dosages, and really scammy gambling. Even if I thought y’all might be intersted in some of these products, I don’t imagine you’re interested in extreme porn, drugs and gambling, and that if you were, you are probably looking those up on your own right now and don’t need my help.

Frequently, the gambling and drugs are short posts with a single link saying something like “Buy Hydrocoton!” but the porn ones have zillions of links, many of which purport to show things the mere sight of which might scar me for life. I don’t want to see your granny doing a goat, okay? Could you not? No further details would possibly entice me to “check this.” But we’re not here to talk about the unfortunate plight of being on a fixed income and having to boink ungulates to make ends meet. We’re here to award medals for truly bad spam.

BRONZE Third place goes to the spambots that purport to be real comments but that misspell simple words: Well sayed. Hey, thanks! I know none of my friends are that moronic, so there is no chance this is anybody I know. BLAM! I delete those without a second thought, only to see the same stupid, misspelled phrases again further down the page. Thank you — how spontaneous!

SILVER The silver medal goes to the foreign language posts, because A., They’re always in foreign languages I actually speak, so I know what they’re saying, and it’s always totally inconsequential and not related to the posting; and B., The origins of these comments are in English, and they always say things like, “Big Monster C*ck.” Come on, who is NOT going to notice that? The lameness of these postings would be greatly mitigated by using more obscure foreign languages, like, say, Bantu, or Flemish, and by not sending them directly from a heavy-duty porn proxy.

GOLD The undisputed champion of lame spam would have to be the whiney depressive comments: “My life’s been pretty dull lately. I’ve just been letting everything wash over me. So it goes.” “I just can’t be bothered with anything lately. Shrug.” What?! Is this spambot channeling Kierkegaard? Am I supposed to think this is just a depressive, self-absorbed friend of mine? Lookit, two entries up is some spam for Xanax. Why don’t I put you in touch with each other?

Spam sucks. This concludes the medal ceremony.

Monday, March 12th 2007

How goes Megfest 2007?
posted @ 1:11 pm in [ - ]

Quite well, thanks! The previously reported-upon events were fun, novel, and helped remind me that I’m really into doing fun things. Repressing my instincts to have fun for months on end so I could finish a book doesn’t seem to have done any permanent damage. Saturday’s Movie Day with the Bond theme included many flavors of microwave popcorn: Butter, Kettle Corn, Buttered Kettle Corn, Extreme Butter… and mojitos. I’m not much into mixed drinks, but MAN, I love a good mojito.

One of the only things about my birthday I haven’t been crazy about is that I’ve been under the impression that it’s an underrated day in history — kind of a reporting dead zone. This year, my mom disabused me of this notion, sending me many links to exciting things and people that happened on various March 9ths. Okay, some of the reporting is still pretty sparse, here, and there is really a lot of obscure stuff. Still, some of it is pretty exciting. To that end, then:

TOP 15 MOST EXCITING MARCH 9THS (other than 1971):

15: 1987. Bow Wow, American alleged rapper and actor, born.

14: 1629. Tsar Alexis I of Russia (d. 1676) born.

13: 1945. Robin Trower, British rock musician, born.

12: 1796. Napoléon Bonaparte marries his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais.

11: 1942. John Cale, Welsh musician, (The Velvet Underground) and Mark Lindsay, American singer/musician (Paul Revere & The Raiders) born.

10: 1955. Teo Fabi, Italian racing driver, born.

9: 1918. Author of pulpy detective novels Mickey Spillane born in Brooklyn, New York.

8: 1943. Bobby Fischer, American chess player (and famous nutjob) born. Also Charles Gibson, American television journalist.

7: 1981. Ketchup is declared a vegetable, by the Department of Agriculture, to help public schools in the USA with the balanced meal. 

6: 1959. The Barbie doll debuts.

5: 1954. Bobby Sands, Irish republican (d. 1981), born.

4: 1932. The first Ford Flathead engine left the assembly line.

3: 2006. Liquid Water discovered on Enceladus, the sixth largest moon of Saturn.

2: 1964. The first Ford Mustang rolls off the assembly line. Also rolling off the assembly line was French actress Juliette Binoche.

1: 1933. Newly-inaugurated President Franklin D. Roosevelt called a special session of Congress and began the first hundred days of enacting his New Deal legislation, beginning with the Emergency Banking Act, and continuing with almost daily new bills. “Among the new federal programs created were the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, which distributed half a billion dollars to the poor; the Civilian Conservation Corps, which employed people to work on forestry projects; the Public Works Administration, which employed people to build bridges, dams and roads all across the country; the Tennessee Valley Authority, which built and maintained dams on the Tennessee River, controlling flooding and providing cheap energy; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which provided for the first insurance of banking deposits.”

Ongoing Holidays and Observances: Belize: Baron Bliss Day. Catholic Liturgical Feasts: - Saint Gregory of Nyssa
- Saint Frances of Rome - Forty Martyrs of Sebaste

Thursday, February 22nd 2007

Oh yeah…
posted @ 2:51 pm in [ ]

Top 10 things I forgot about while I was totally focused on finishing:

  1. It is possible to read just for fun. People do it. Hell, I used to do it.

  2. It’s fun to get together with random friends on the spur of the moment.

  3. I feel a lot better when I can ride my bike every day.

  4. Leaving Phillip in charge of housekeeping is like leaving Ghenghis Khan in charge of a networking breakfast.

  5. I can just sit there. I don’t have to do 14 things at once.

  6. I enjoy dance class so much more when I’m not totally preoccupied. I’m also a lot better at it.

  7. As usual, the cats are very wise about how to live. Lounging is key, napping is a fine use of one’s time, being petted really ought to be savored, and snacking is definitely the way to go.

  8. When I don’t get some kind of exercise in every day, I make stupider choices, feel logier, and am generally lamer.

  9. I like to cook — probably enough to make actual food on a daily basis rather than just heating something up.

  10. People missed me while I was embroiled in writing, and a lot more people than I thought cared that I had finished.

Saturday, December 23rd 2006

Post-snowday top-10 rant
posted @ 2:56 pm in [ - ]

Top 10 things that really frosted my (already pretty frosty) cachongas yesterday:

  1. The driving habits of benighted SUV owners. Even though a lot of the roads were somewhere under an 8-inch ice shelf, plenty of SUV drivers were driving really fast, tailgating, and passing fellow motorists on the right — even when there wasn’t a lane there. They don’t seem to grasp that 4-wheel drive only works when you’re accelerating. Once you hit the brakes, you’re just a hockey puck like everyone else.

  2. Having to go to the library in emergency mode. I had a few short hours to gather everything I might conceivably need for the rest of my project. Yikes, I hope I got it. The staff was terrific, and really went above and beyond the call of duty to help me out, which was awesome. It sure won’t be their fault if I don’t have everything.

  3. In a few of the municipalities in the Denver metro area that had actually made some attempt at snow mitigation, they were half-assed enough about it that you’d be tooling along in the right lane and it would suddenly be replaced with a bigass pile of snow without warning.

  4. Consumerism. Getting around wouldn’t have been nearly as hard yesterday if people weren’t gorging themselves on it in some sort of annual ritual.

  5. The layout of the university’s library. The whole thing is on three vast floors. Two of them are book stacks, with all the books in the center of the floor and study tables around the edges. There is no place to set down your coat, your backpack, your armloads of other books, so you have to lug them around with you, and signs at the study tables remind you not to leave your things unattended because of the risk of theft. It’s not like one could actually see one’s possessions from more than one single point in the book stacks, so that’s a problem. Plus, you need a sherpa if you’re going from, say, the bound periodicals stacks to the current periodicals, because they’re toward the back of two different floors. In terms of direct distance, they’re probably only about 30 feet apart, but because the only access between floors for which one does not require a papal dispensation is a staircase at one end of the building, it’s a brisk 5-minute walk. Possibly carrying 60+ pounds’ worth of stuff. It would be a lot easier just to break through the floor and fall there. Yeah, that’ll put you off wanting to know stuff.

  6. My crappy formal training in mathematics. The math I got in school was useless and badly taught. What I know about math I learned at home from my dad explaining it to me, and later, I taught myself. That’s worked out okay, but because of the lack of a formalized regimen of some kind, I have holes in my knowledge, and I basically go along and fill them in as needed. I read some mathematical text, and if it doesn’t make sense, I read it again. If it still doesn’t make sense, I figure out exactly what’s bothering me about it, and go look that thing up. I repeat those last two steps as often as necessary until it does make sense. It’s a relatively effective process, but it’s time consuming. Sometimes I wish I had had better math teachers growing up — or that I was a little younger, so I wouldn’t have gotten that crap about boys being good at math and girls being good at English — I might know a lot more of this stuff off the top of my head. Or, you know, be a physicist or something.

  7. The way errands and other necessary evils pile up when you can’t go anywhere for a couple of days, and how much it SUCKS when a million other people’s errands have also been piling up, and they’ve been there before you, pissing off the help, so now every clerk in town is downright surly.

  8. Not being able to wear cute shoes out to dinner because you will fall on your can if you do.

  9. The way stuff freezes in the winter when the sun goes down. Come on, there has GOT to be a better way!

  10. Negligible competent formal snow removal! The upside to living in this mild cilmate is of course that it’s, you know, mild. The downside is that every few years, when there is a fairly significant snowstorm, you’re screwed. The snow removal method here in Colorado is called “the sun.” It comes out, and if you’ve only got about 6 inches or less of snow, no biggie, it’s gone. If you have five or six times that amount, though, there is still no budget, no plan, no checklist of preparations, and snowplows are about as prevalent as, say, dragons or unicorns. I actually saw one Wednesday, and I stood and gawked at it. Of course, it wasn’t anywhere near my block. Or the airport. Or the highway. Or going anywhere with its blade down. Maybe it was a mirage.

I am not going anywhere today, boy howdy. My cachongas still require some thawing.

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