Friday, December 31, 2004

Another Year Over (Well, Almost)

Man, parts of 2004 seemed to drag on interminably while they were happening, but now that it's almost over -- four more hours, in my time zone -- I can't think where it went. Suddenly, I want it back.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Search Request Thursday: Brought to You, for Once, on an Actual Thursday!

Yep, here's the latest batch of wacky search requests:

  • who has really "ticklish armpits": I don't know, but based on the number of hits I get from people looking for "ticklish armpits" and variations thereof, he or she must be really popular.

  • can i become ticklish on my feet: Alas, this person only hopes to achieve popularity.

  • translation seussian: Translating Dr. Seuss is just... wrong. Like translating the Koran or something.

  • the Cat in the Hat used a total of only fifty distinct words: Yes. But, unlike Green Eggs and Ham, I don't think any of them had two syllables.

  • noranti christmas song: Ah, yes, there's nothing like a Farscape Christmas. Mangling carols and eating "cop porn..."

  • Artemis Fowl slash fanfiction: Eww. Though I say that mostly just because they were really crappy books.

  • "how to make a ukelele": It surprises me to discover that I ever actually discussed this topic here. But apparently I did.

  • henchperson uniform: You can fulfill all your henchperson outfitting needs right here.

  • walkman fanfiction scenes: People are writing fan fiction about consumer electronics now?

  • didi edgley: Is that Gigi Edgley's sister?

  • what clothes to take on an alaskan cruise: Well, if you're going this time of year, I'd recommend thermal underwear and a nice furry parka.

  • why do people in Albuquerque, NM make such stupid awful jokes about: What? What do they make stupid awful jokes about? And why have I not heard them?

  • Search going to a new years party and need some good hairstyles for medium hair: You also need some google skills, I'm afraid.

  • hidden side effect of cough drops: Wait a minute, what's this in the fine print? May cause leprosy?!

  • blooper headache decapitation: Well, I guess that'd cure your headache, but it seems like a heck of a blooper to me.

  • dvd player won: Uh, congratulations.

  • Huckleberry Finn slash fanfic: Well, at least that's a much better book than Artemis Fowl.

  • wearing layers of knickers: Living in the desert, I've always believed in the wisdom of dressing in layers, but I've never gone that far.

  • Wednesday, December 29, 2004

    Current Events Coverage

    I've just been reading the Wikipedia's excellent and thorough article on the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. And, man, words like "horrifying" and "stunned" don't even really begin to cover it. When you see it all laid out like that, it's almost too damned much to take in. Recommended, if painful, reading.

    Monday, December 27, 2004

    H2O Achieved!

    I love my plumbers. I called 'em up around 9:00 and was told they had several emergencies to deal with today and they weren't sure when they could be by, but they showed up by 11:30, fixed the leak I knew about and one I didn't, re-insulated the pipes that froze, and were done in an hour. So I now have water again. Yay!

    Mind you, I'm not sure whether it pleases or depresses me that the plumbers remember my name and know without looking it up where I live.

    Anyway. Off for a shower!
    Peeping Round the Door to See What Parcels Are for Free in Curiosity

    A brief summary of the materialistic side of my Christmas (er, in the "gimme stuff" sense, rather than the philosophical sense, of course).

    What I Gave:

  • A set of Firefly DVDs and a copy of Coldplay's A Rush of Blood to the Head to my sister and brother-in-law.

  • A toy mouse to their cat.

  • Two big tubs of Legos to my nephew.

  • A couple of packages of blank CDs and an assortment of downloaded country songs to my mother. (Yes, I have now introduced Mom to the joys of Napster.)

  • A Lord of the Rings calendar (artwork, not movie stills) and a gift subscription to New Mexico Magazine to my Dad and his wife. Also a decorative Santa plate which I got as a free gift from somewhere and which seemed much more like something they'd like than I would.

  • A selection of fudge to my grandmother.

  • What I Got:

  • A telephone. Which I badly needed, as my current one is dying painfully.

  • A light sweater blouse.

  • Candy.

  • Lavender bath salts.

  • A couple of old Pink Floyd CDs: A Saucerful of Secrets and Meddle, which puts me a step closer to my completist desire to have all of Floyd to put on the mp3 player.

  • Chocolate covered pretzels. Mmmm, my favorite!

  • A soft bathrobe with kitties on it.

  • A Lord of the Rings calendar (movie stills, not artwork).

  • All in all, not too bad, I'd say!

    Also, in addition to various prezzies and random items of food -- oh, and a coffee mug she got from some promotional thing and apparently didn't have room for in her cabinet -- I also came back from Mom's with a couple of Michael Crichton novels. Timeline she finished, closed with a snap, handed to me, and said, "Here, I'm done with this. You can have it." And State of Fear she apparently bought twice by mistake. Oh, yeah. Apples and trees, folks. Apples and trees...
    Search Me

    So, when I opened up my suitcase last night, there was a little note in it saying they'd hand-searched my luggage. That's the first time that's happened to me. It's a little odd, thinking about strangers going through my dirty underwear and stuff. And goodness only knows what they made of the giant box of Rice Chex I had in there because it's impossible to go to my mother's and not come back with weird random food items. (Typical conversation: "I had to write off six of these, and I'm not going to eat them all! Here! Take one!" "Umm... OK.") Amusingly, I think they may have repacked my stuff more neatly than I did.

    Sunday, December 26, 2004

    Down and Safe

    I'm home. I'm tired. I've got a ton of e-mail and stuff waiting for me, and unpacking, and suchlike, so you're not going to get a huge, detailed report on anything out of me just at the moment.

    The cats are alive, although they seemed reluctant to come out and welcome me home. Maybe they're mad at me. Oh, well, they'll get over it.

    The big news is that I was greeted upon my immediate arrival by my next-door neighbors, who informed me that the pipe where my trailer connects to the park water valve was leaking and they'd shut off the water for me. I just checked it out and yup, it's leaking. Damn thing probably froze. I can tell it's been cold here, because a surprising amount of the snow that fell before I left is still on the ground, which is pretty amazing. Anyway, looks like I'll have to call a plumber in the morning. Sigh.

    Saturday, December 25, 2004

    No Comment

    Hmm. My "number of comments" indicator isn't incrementing now when I get new comments, apparently. Why does this sort of thing always seem to happen when I'm away from my regular e-mail account and thus not getting notifications when I get new blog comments?

    Friday, December 24, 2004

    An Extremely Brief Update

    Turns out Death Valley is really quite pleasant in December.

    Merry Christmas and such!

    Thursday, December 23, 2004

    I Have Landed

    Mom's not up yet, so I figured I'd snurch some time on her machine to let you all know that I did not die in the snow. The roads weren't very bad at all, and it appears the storm was pretty localized, because by the time I got about 30 miles out of town, it was all gone.

    Anyway, I got into California just fine (although my plane was an hour late; I think we spent longer sitting on the ground than we did in the air on the second leg of the flight).

    Last night we mostly just sort of hung out and talked. I am coming to the disturbing realization, at the age of 33, that my mother's political opinions and my own are not, as I'd always believed, light-years apart, but in fact are mostly damned near identical. Considering that I've just been reading about how scientific research (to oversimplify grossly) suggests that we mostly tend to turn out like our parents regardless of what we do, I find that I can only shake my head, sigh, and give due credit to the power of genetics.

    Anyway. Off to Death Valley soon.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2004

    Leaving on a Jet Plane...

    Well, I'm off soon to brave the scary snow, heading north for a while, and thence west by plane. I'll be at Mom's until Sunday. We're going to spend a couple of days at Death Valley, because, hey, this is the time of year to visit, then do the Christmas thing at her place. I may or may not find the time to update while I'm gone, so I'll just say Happy Holidays to all of you, and may none of you crash and die in the snow on the way to the airport.

    Oh, and since it's become sort of traditional to list the books I take with me on trips, this time it's: The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker (which I was kind of hoping to finish before I left but didn't quite manage), The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore (as previously mentioned), Claudius the God by Robert Graves, Dancing Barefoot by Wil Wheaton, and Freedom and Necessity by Steven Brust and Emma Bull. Which is doubtless overkill, but I have a deep fear of being stuck on an airplane with nothing to read.
    Mother Nature Is a Cold-Hearted Bitch

    I think there is more snow on the ground than I've ever seen here. I'm not sure I can get out of my driveway, let alone to the airport. Aaaargh!

    Tuesday, December 21, 2004

    Don't Let It Snow

    It's raining outside. This worries me. Rain at these temperatures tends to turn into snow, and snow is bad for driving in and bad for flying in, both of which I am doing tomorrow.
    In Which I Contemplate Getting Off My Lazy Ass

    Hmm. Considering that I'm leaving to go visit my Mom tomorrow morning, I guess I really should, like, go and pack soon.
    Some People Talking to Some Other People

    Speaking of Jim Carrey -- well, I was a couple of days ago -- here's an interview with Carrey and a couple of other people about the Series of Unfortunate Events movie. I've really enjoyed the books, and most of the buzz I've heard about the movie has been pretty positive. I also really like the director's attitude as expressed here. I may have to get out to see this one.

    While we're at it, here's another interview, this one with writer Christopher Moore. I love Moore's books. They're wild, wacky, wonderful fun. I'm planning on taking his newest, The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror with me when I go out to my mother's for Christmas. Hey, it's seasonal!

    Monday, December 20, 2004

    No! Anything but That!

    I'm not on dayshift anymore. In fact, I've been off work for several days. And yet I keep waking up at, like, seven o'clock in the morning. I'm not becoming a, a... a morning person, surely? *shudders at the thought*

    Sunday, December 19, 2004

    Betty's Nickel Movie Reviews

    So, like I said earlier, I actually went out and rented some movies this weekend, something I do very infrequently these days, given that I'm so backed up on watching the stuff that I actually own. But, hey, sometimes it's good to just see something different.

    So, yesterday I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Interesting movie, intriguing premise, some good cinematography... But, I dunno, maybe it was just a little too low-key, in that art-movie kind of way, or maybe it was over-hyped to me a little, because, while I thought it was pretty good, I didn't really enjoy it quite as much as I'd expected. It was really interesting to see Jim Carrey playing an emotionally subdued introvert, though. It's a performance that's light-years away from his usual comic mugging, enough so that I honestly didn't even recognize him until his name flashed up on the screen some ten minutes into the movie, and even then I had to stare at him for a while before I was really convinced it was him. And I just can't help but think, man, the guy really can act. Why on Earth does he waste himself on the stupid cartoony shit he's known for? And then I remember that he's made millions doing that, and I can't honestly say that if I were him I would have done things any differently. So, hey.

    Today I watched Kill Bill, Pt. 1, and I'm honestly not sure what to say about it. Yeah, it really is basically an orgy of violence. And it's violence that's almost cartoonishly stylized one moment; eerily, balletically beautiful the next; and just plain horrible and disturbing the moment after that, until the three begin to blur together and it's difficult to tell which is which. I'm not sure there's any redeeming moral value to it, but fortunately I'm not the sort of person who believes movies have to have redeeming moral value, and artistically it's amazing. It's also strangely compelling. I'm half-tempted to go on to part 2 right now, but I think I'll probably save it for tomorrow.
    But I Wonder What Happened to Rudolph?

    I was just driving home from the video store[*] when I passed Santa Claus -- flowing white beard, red suit, and all -- coming the other way on a big-ass motorcycle. He waved.

    Amusingly, I think this has done more to put my grinchy self into a happy holiday spirit than pretty much anything else this year so far.

    [*] Yes, that's right, I've been renting movies! Details to follow. Probably.

    Saturday, December 18, 2004

    Today's Complaint

    I really wish my cats would stop hitting the "scan" button on my scanner.
    I've Been Called That Before...

    You Are a Fruitcake!

    You taste like nothing else in this world.
    And get ready, you're about to get tossed!

    Search Request, Um... Saturday

    Yeah, yeah, I know...


  • fly work peppermint: Who, I wonder, is doing work with flying peppermints and posting about it on Blogspot?

  • tattoos of marvin the martian: Merely gazing upon you will strike fear into the heart of those pitiful Earthlings!

  • who is the female snowboarder in the Campbell's Soup campaign 2004?: Damned if I know. I've pretty much entirely quit watching anything with commercials in it, and my quality of life has improved dramatically as a result.

  • "matchbox 20" unwell hypochondriac: Gee, I never quite thought of that song that way...

  • vinyl cleaning t-pol: I guess she's gotta clean that catsuit somehow.

  • moped keeps cutting out: Have you tried seeing a mechanic? (Or whatever you call somebody who services mopeds.)

  • human cannibalism pics: I was going to suggest that "human cannibalism" is redundant, but, on second thoughts, that's very species-centric of me, isn't it?

  • futurama relationshippers: Hermes/Zoidberg all the way, man!

  • unsecret Valentines Day: Well, of course Valentine's Day is unsecret. It'd be hard to sell so many damned cards and flowers if it were a secret, wouldn't it?

  • penis envy in one flew over the cuckoo's nest: I don't remember any of that, but, admittedly, it's been a while since I read the book.

  • aeryn sun slideshow: Aka John Crichton's holiday slides.

  • "Dr. Seuss socks": Mind have fish on them!

  • crewman cutler and trip's child: Trip had a child with Crewman Cutler? Man, stuff has been happening on Enterprise since I quit watching!

  • boobs "chocolate brands": Yes, it is important for the smart consumer to choose a brand of chocolate boobs very carefully.

  • Tenctonese religious beliefs: Uncle Moodri could tell you all about that. Aww, I miss Uncle Moodri. He was my favorite character. As I remarked to someone when I was watching through the series recently, I seem to have some kind of weird thing about crazy mystical alien ex-slaves. I'm not remotely sure what that means.

  • Sure, That's Me.

    Your World (Part One): What is your world made of? [girls]

    brought to you by Quizilla

    Thursday, December 16, 2004

    Oh, The Places He Went!

    I've been reading through a lovely omnibus volume of Dr. Seuss books I bought recently. (I tell myself that's because it'd be a great thing to have around for when the nephew comes to visit, but, honestly, that's a lie. I really bought it for myself.) And, wow... Is it just me, or is it not really making much of an overstatement to call the guy one of the greatest writers in the English language? I mean, the guy was frickin' brilliant. I thought so when I was six, and I find that I haven't really changed my opinion any.

    By the way, I learned an interesting piece of Seussian trivia: Green Eggs and Ham used a total of only fifty distinct words, forty-nine of which were monosyllabic. For 100 points and my eternal respect, who can name the single multi-syllable word used in the book?

    (D'oh! I originally wrote The Cat in the Hat, which is not what I meant. I am a dolt.)

    Wednesday, December 15, 2004

    'Scuse Me While I Polish My Halo.

    You Were Nice This Year!

    You're an uber-perfect person who is on the top of Santa's list.
    You probably didn't even *think* any naughty thoughts this year.
    Unless you're a Mormon, you've probably been a little too good.
    Is that extra candy cane worth being a sweetheart for 365 days straight?

    Because I'm As Crazy as Its Protagonist

    I have come to the decidedly surreal realization that my life will not be complete until I own this album.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2004

    Search Me

    Just a note to let you know that this blog is now searchable, via the little toolbar at the top. Don't know why I didn't realize I could do that earlier...

    Monday, December 13, 2004

    Unstuck in Time

    Working a job where the hours and even the days of the work week are changeable and offset from the rest of the universe can be kind of surreal. As witness the conversation I had with a couple of my co-workers at about 8 o'clock this morning (which, please note, is a Monday):

    Co-Worker #1 [roughly paraphrased]: "Hey, how's it going today?"
    Co-Worker #2: "Eh. It's a Thursday."
    Me: "It's Tuesday."
    Co-worker #1: "It's Monday evening!" [pause] "Is this what Chicago meant when they said, 'Does anybody really know what time it is?'"
    Me: "Does anybody really care?"

    Sunday, December 12, 2004

    USA! USA!

    Here's an amusing exercise to test your knowledge of US Geography: Place the State. Drag & drop the states onto a US map. I managed to get 42 perfect out of 50 turns, for a score of 84% and an average error of 28 miles. Which is considerably better than I would have expected to do, being as those squarish states in the middle have an occasional tendency to confuse me.
    Well, No Surprise There.

    Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

    You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
    An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
    You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
    A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

    You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

    That Monthly Meme Thing

    As with the last couple of "Search Request Thursday"s, I'm kind of late with this, too. But I'm sure nobody but me actually cares. Hell, I'm not sure I care. But, anyway, here it is.

    Current clothes: Blue jeans. A blue denim button-down shirt with the NRAO logo above the breast pocket. White crew socks. Black sneakers.

    Current mood: Rather upbeat, actually.

    Current music: I was doing the random shuffle thing on the mp3 player again. Let's see, looks like I last heard some Queen and some U2, and then stopped as it was about to serve me up some Jimmy Buffett.

    Current annoyance: I'm feeling much less annoyed at the moment about all the things I was annoyed about last week, even though theoretically much of that stuff is still annoying.

    Current thing: I've become horribly addicted to Scrabble Rack Attack. I think I need a 12-step program.

    Current desktop picture: This picture of colliding spiral galaxies.

    Current song in head: Gonzo singing "I'm Going to Go Back There Some Day" from The Muppet Movie. I love Gonzo.

    Current book: I Sing the Body Electric! by Ray Bradbury. I'm sure I read this once, way back in the dim and distant past of my high school years, but Bradbury is generally worth revisiting. I must say, though, that with a few notable exceptions, I don't think this particular collection really represents his best work.

    Current video in player: Most recently, a tape with part 2 of Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars.

    Current DVD in player: The slowly-dying DVD player which has been relegated to the bedroom has Disc 2 of The Simpsons season 4. The other one most recently had the last disc of Farscape season 1, because, yes, I'm still making copies. I also just very recently finished Babylon 5 season 3, for the record.

    Current refreshment: I just finished some green tea. Come to think of it, I might have some more in a minute. That was good.

    Current worry: A friend of mine gave me a key to his house in case he needed me to come by some time while he was gone to feed his cat, and I suddenly realized a couple of days ago that I have no earthly idea what I did with it. I am now mildly worried that he is going to call me up and ask me to feed his cat.

    Current thought: I have to use the bathroom. And then I really should make some more green tea. Ah, the cycle of life continues...

    Saturday, December 11, 2004

    'Tis The Season, And All That Stuff.

    All my Christmas presents are now bought, wrapped, packaged, and ready to mail out. Go, me!

    Friday, December 10, 2004

    Almost None of This Is True.

    You are instant coffee gulped on a bus.
    You are instant coffee gulped on a bus.

    You are better than nothing. You are well-meaning,
    but ersatz. You sing along with Muzak in
    elevators. You cannot remember your original
    hair color, and your artificial nails could be
    used to slice a zucchini. You forget small
    details such as your telephone number and the
    names of your children. You believe in
    astrology, numerology, and satinism (the cult
    of shiny fabrics).

    What kind of coffee are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla


    My e-mail is now working again. Yay! Well, it was always working, it's just that I couldn't get in to see it. Somehow, my password appears to have gotten changed. I have no idea how or why, because I sure didn't change it. But, anyway, they've now changed it back.

    Total number of e-mails downloaded when I finally got back into my account: 156. It's going to take me a while to get caught up, I'm afraid...
    My Day: Auto Mechanics, Wally-World, Zombies

    Just got back from Albuquerque. I got my car door adjusted (finally!), and went back to bloody Wal-Mart to pick up all the stuff I forgot to get the last time I was there. And, while I was up there, I figured I'd do something I do all too seldom these days and catch a movie. Disturbingly, it was actually kind of hard to find something I was interested in seeing. I considered Alexander, but the buzz I've heard so far on it hasn't been all that positive, and I wasn't really feeling ready for a three-hour commitment. I gave serious thought to Saw, which looks absolutely fascinating, but which, based on the reviews I've read, appears to contain very high levels of gore of precisely the kind that really gets to me. (I barely made it through Seven, for instance, and that only because I was watching it at a friend's house and didn't have the option of turning it off.) I figure maybe that's better viewed on the small screen, where it's easier to look away. In any case, it wasn't exactly what I was in the mood for.

    Then I realized that Shaun of the Dead was playing at the discount theater. Score! Because that was a very nice way to spend an afternoon. Very cool film. The tagline is "A romantic comedy. With zombies." And, by Jove, that is exactly what it delivers. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, more that you need in a movie. It's frequently laugh-out-loud funny without ever going over the top, and it manages to balance the humor, drama, and horror elements amazingly well. Definitely recommended.
    Yes, I Know, I Should Just Start Calling This "Search Request Friday."

    What can I say? I never could get the hang of Thursdays. Anyway, here you go:

  • alien nation SIKES translation: I'm not sure if they ever actually said what the guy's name translated into, but from the way the aliens tended to giggle when he introduced himself, I'd say it was something like "shit."

  • "november" blog date fashion show nmsu: NMSU has fashion shows? Hee. My little Techie heart, conditioned to regard liberal arts colleges as not being "serious schools," is rolling its eyes and snickering. Um, not that hearts have eyes. Never mind.

  • blog "me nude": Well, I just typed those words into my blog, so I guess you got your wish.

  • "real gilligan's island" naked nude: Yes, when they adapted Gilligan's true story for television, the censors felt it necessary that they make a few changes, so the fact that the real-life castaways were all practicing nudists was never mentioned.

  • judith ticklish armpits: I'll keep that in mind if I ever meet Judith and want to make her laugh.

  • earthsea personality tests: Based on Jungian principles, no doubt!

  • dobby sock fetishist: Heh. The little guy did have a bizarre thing about socks, didn't he?

  • "my glasses" "ideal boyfriend": Presumably those glasses are rose-colored.

  • caffeine "peppermint tea" machismo: I suppose adding caffeine to peppermint tea might make it more acceptable to those worried about maintaining their macho images. Though somehow I kind of doubt it.

  • legolas pregnant fanfic: Shoot me now. Please. Arrow, right through the heart. Just don't make me read that.

  • ender's game anticlimax hive queen: You know, it's been long enough since I've read that book that I don't remember whether I considered the ending an anticlimax or not. I might have, a little, but it was a darned good book in any case.

  • i hate tickling armpit armpits: Judith? Is that you?

  • "the flood" spoilers "doctor who": Hmm, there's no Who episode by that name. Maybe it's a book. I'm so far behind on reading the Who books it's pathetic. Mind you, it's not made any easier by the fact that I've been waiting for several months for Amazon to send me the next one I haven't read.

  • skullduggery elvish translator: I'm not sure the word "skullduggery" does translate into Elvish...

  • Thursday, December 09, 2004

    So, I Had My Alignment Checked...

    You scored as Lawful Good. A lawful good person acts as a good person is expected or required to act. They are dedicated to upholding both what is right and what is set down in law.

    Lawful Good


    Neutral Good


    True Neutral


    Chaotic Neutral


    Chaotic Good


    Lawful Neutral


    Lawful Evil


    Neutral Evil


    Chaotic Evil


    What is your Alignment?
    created with

    Apparently I'm just a goody two-shoes. Sigh.
    As a Counterpoint to the Last Post...

    Things which have made me feel good today:

    We might actually have a lead on what's causing a software problem that's been plaguing my life at work lately. At the very least, somebody's actually looking into it now, which I wasn't sure anybody was ever going to do.

    A co-worker told me she liked my sweater, which is new, and which I also very much like. Another co-worker told me I looked really good lately and asked me if I'd been losing weight. (Why, yes. Yes, I have.) For all that I claim not to give a fig about externals, it really is quite an ego-lift when somebody compliments your physical appearance, isn't it?
    And It's Not Even 9 AM!

    Things which have annoyed me today:

    My e-mail still wasn't working this morning. I greatly fear withdrawals.

    It is beginning to seem as if my usual routes to and from work consist more of potholes than they do of asphalt. This entire town is like some kind of depressing advertisement for entropy.

    I went to turn on the light in my bathroom this morning, and the light bulb threw off some interesting sparks, made a loud popping sound, and died. Now the light fixture won't work at all, even when I put a perfectly good light bulb in it.

    I was just looking through the current flyer from one of my book clubs and saw that they are offering a set of "science" books which includes a book on mathematical proofs, one on human anatomy... and one on "the practical art of dowsing." Gaah. It's no bloody wonder people can't tell science from pseudoscience!

    I keep waking up before my alarm goes off, but not early enough that it makes any sense for me to go back to sleep, no matter how much I want to.

    I forgot my mp3 player at home, which means I have no music to listen to while I am hanging tapes. I also somehow managed to forget my watch, which I always wear and without which I feel slightly naked.

    Oh, yes, and, last but not least, there's this article, which makes me weep for my country. Ah, multiculturalism and tolerance were such nice ideas while they lasted, weren't they?

    Wednesday, December 08, 2004

    Perhaps the Matrix Caught a Virus.

    My ISP keeps rejecting my attempts to log in (which means no e-mail, waaah!). No explanation, no nothing. I just might as well no longer have an account (although my web access still works). I went to take out the garbage just now, and the dumpster appears to have mysteriously vanished. And, at work, we've been scratching our heads trying to find data that ought to be in our database but just isn't there. I'm beginning to worry about the possibility that random bits of the universe have begun disappearing.
    Movie News

    This is the sort of thing that just leaves me rolling my eyes: "God Cut from Dark Materials film." Yes, that's right, the film version of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, an (in my opinion interesting but over-rated) series of books about an earthly revolt against a outmoded Supreme Being and his corrupt church, will, uh, not involve a Supreme Being or a church. The studio has "expressed worry about the possibility of perceived anti-religiosity," says the director. Which leaves me wondering why the hell you'd commission a movie adaptation of a religiously controversial work if you can't stand the idea of stirring up religious controversy. Oh, yeah, wait, never mind. I know the reason. The books were bestsellers, and if you buy the rights to them, you get the kind of name recognition that sells movie tickets, even if the movie has nothing in common with the books but the name. Yeesh.

    On a more pleasant note, here's an interview with Nathan Fillion about the upcoming Firefly film, Serenity. "We all signed for a trilogy," he says, "so if this first one does well, we're going to do two more." Yee-ha!

    Monday, December 06, 2004

    Snow Going

    It was snowing fairly hard when I came in to work today, and there were several inches on the ground before lunchtime. Most of it has now melted.

    There are things I do really like about living in New Mexico.

    Sunday, December 05, 2004


    I am feeling extremely cranky today. I woke up at 4 AM for no apparent reason and could not get back to sleep. I am currently stuck at work, after a less-than-one-day weekend. I'm feeling a little achy, and the effects of all the caffeine I've been consuming appear to have long since plateaued out.

    Fortunately, looking at pictures of baby animals always makes me feel better.
    I Guess The Calendar Doesn't Lie...

    Whoa. How can it possibly be this close to Christmas?

    Friday, December 03, 2004

    Search Request Thur-- Uh, Friday

    Yeah, I didn't do it yesterday. Whatever.

  • "star trek" spanish dub: Ah, Viaje a las Estrellas! Great show!

  • "joke recipes" cooking turkey: Because who doesn't like a good joke on Thanksgiving!

  • casting de misters teen 2003: There's more than one "Mister Teen 2003?" Hmm, I wonder what dey are casting dem for.

  • science projects how to make lava from kitchen pantry: Oh, please. The old "erupting volcano science project" is so passe.

  • dates of observing Thanksgiving: Um, it's always on the last Thursday of November, isn't it? Except in Canada, of course, where it's something else.

  • nude turkeys: Well, you hardly want to cook them with the feathers on.

  • "trailer trash" newark bars: I have never been in any bars in Newark, but I imagine it's quite possible to pick up "trailer trash" in them if you make an effort.

  • pentagram of wax porn: You lay out your wax porn in a pentagram, say the proper incantations, and it summons you up a wax demon who... You know what? Let's just stop there, shall we?

  • "he's sneezing" cowboy: Well, hand the poor guy a kleenex or something!

  • bound tickling therapy: Why does that somehow not sound very therapeutic to me?

  • monastary bondage: Well, I guess some monks, historically, have practiced flagellation and other kinky-sounding stuff...

  • "burned" "beachboard": You haven't been burned lately, have you Deborah?

  • midshipman fish wav: Don't be silly. There are no midshipman fish. What do fish need with boats?

  • scorpius action figure "crackers don't matter": Technically, that's Harvey.

  • shopping habit of Chiana consumer: She shops until she runs out of money, then she steals things.

  • corridan company frog: Every company should have a company frog!

  • porno not picked up by censors: You know, you can slip a lot of things past censors, but somehow I think out-and-out porno is something they'd tend to notice.

  • buzz lightyear, sneakers: I thought he wore cool space boots?

  • cute teacher "book embosser": I wonder if it's the teacher or the embosser that's supposed to be cute.

  • last ned star trek demos: Who is Ned and what Trekkish stuff was he demo-ing?

  • huckleberry finn garbage trash racist: It is not.

  • beaker feelings movie muppets download: Ah, it's nice to know someone cares about Beaker's feelings! Dr. Honeydew always seemed a bit callous on the subject, to be honest.

  • garak bashir fuck naked: Uh, good for them, I guess. It's probably more comfortable that way.

  • figures of speech in coldplay the scientist: Well, I think they used a lot of metaphors...

  • flooby haircut: I assume this is what Tamara has.

  • blog earwax: Yes, I have blogged about earwax. Hey, it was a major issue for me at the time, all right?

  • STUFF SHAPED LIKE A TELEPHONE: Well, for starters, how about, um... a telephone?

  • hail damage or sun blisters: I don't know about you, but what I have is definitely hail damage.

  • science project 7UP test: Well, that sounds a little more creative than the exploding volcano, I guess.

  • met him in a swamp down in Degobah lyrics: "...where it bubbles all the time like a giant carbonated soda/S-O-D-A, soda/I saw the little runt sitting there on a log..." and, oh, dear gods, I can sing the whole thing from memory.

  • maximum stretch pussy: You'd be amazed. Sometimes my cats can stretch out so that they seem to be taking up the entire sofa.
  • Thursday, December 02, 2004


    Ooh! There is now a teaser for the new Doctor Who series online! OK, it's a very brief teaser. Barely anything at all, really. But it's got me feeling all excited.
    Gimme Some Credit!

    So, those of us living in the Western states apparently now have the legal right to request a free copy of our credit report from each of the major credit-reporting companies once a year. (Those of you in the rest of the US may have to wait a few months.) To be honest, I'd never actually bothered checking my credit report before, but I figured, hey, it's free, what the heck. So I took a look at mine, and, man, do I have shiny, shiny credit! Which I pretty much knew, but it's good to know that Equifax agrees with me.
    Urge to Kill... Rising...

    When I am ruler of the world, people who believe in bass technology but not in muffler technology and who proceed to demonstrate this at length outside their neighbor's bedroom window at 7:30 AM will be rounded up and shot. Preferably very early in the morning, with very noisy guns. Gaaaah.

    Wednesday, December 01, 2004

    I'm a Colorful Character! Possibly Orange.

    You scored as alternative. You're partially respected for being an individual in a conformist world yet others take you as a radical. You have no place in society because you choose not to belong there - you're the luckiest of them all, even if your parents are completely ashamed of you. Just don't take drugs ok?



    Middle Class


    Upper middle Class


    Luxurious Upper Class


    Lower Class


    What Social Status are you?
    created with

    Tuesday, November 30, 2004

    See? I Don't Have a Quiz-Taking Problem! The Quiz Told Me So!

    temptation pic
    You may take a lot of quizzes, but really, it's no
    big deal. Just harmless fun. Go on, take
    another. One of them's bound to sort you into
    Ravenclaw, if you just keep at it.

    What Kind of Quiz Taker Are You?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Stupid Axial Tilt

    OK, it is now officially Too Damn Cold. According to the online weather site I just looked at, it's about 30 degrees right now in T or C, and I think they're usually a bit warmer than we are. It's supposed to get down to 14 tonight! And my furnace fan keeps cutting out after about thirty seconds, long before the house warms up to what the thermostat is set to. Last night I actually resorted to plugging in the space heater for some supplemental warmth.

    Gaah. I hate winter. Then again, I kind of hate summer, too, so, really, there are very few times of the year when I'm completely satisfied.

    Sunday, November 28, 2004

    Cutest. Website. Ever.

    Oooh, look at all the kitties!
    A Couple More Babylon 5 Thoughts

    1. Vir is a sweetie, and I wish to give him a hug.

    2. In an early season three episode, there's a scene where a character is looking for some information. He tells the computer what he wants, and it responds that the data search will take four hours. And I can't help but think, man, search engine technology has improved since that was written. Yeah, OK, doubtless the B5 computer has a lot more data to search through than Google does. But it's also got to be much, much faster, doesn't it? And the guy did have darned good keywords, and he was looking for something that would have been on the major news feeds...

    And, hey, speaking of news feeds, it also strikes me as slightly... old-fashioned?... that the B5 crew gets all their Earth-related news from the ISN TV network. Which, of course, is important, because ISN's information is incomplete and biased. And I can't help but think... There aren't any bloggers in 2060? Or anything equivalent?

    It's amazing the things that make a show start to feel dated...
    I Am a Victim of Domestic Abuse By My Household Appliances.

    Ouch. I just somehow managed to slam my own face into the corner of the refrigerator. Cut the hell out of my lip with my tooth. Man, I'm just glad I live alone, because nobody'd ever believe someone who didn't if she said she'd walked into a refrigerator. Although, actually, people who know me would probably find that quite easy to believe. Well, it's not really visible from the outside anyway, although I wouldn't be terribly surprised if I had a bruised face tomorrow. But, still... Ouch. I'm not sure which hurts worse, my lip or my self-respect.
    Babbling On

    I'm now just about exactly halfway through season 3 of Babylon 5. And I have a few completely random comments. (Warning: Spoilers ahoy!)

    "Point of No Return" and "Severed Dreams," which feature the climax of the Earth civil war in the secession of Babylon 5, is some really exciting television. I mean, I'm not normally all that interested in space battles, but, man.

    I like Marcus. He's fun. There's something about his wild, wicked, off-the-wall sense of humor that contrasts with his voice and appearance in a way that weirds me out a little, but I like it.

    Londo Mollari probaly has the single most interesting character arc of any TV character, ever. Also, it still continually amuses me to listen to him talk.

    Thus endeth the random comments. Onward to the second half!
    *happy sigh*

    I like long weekends.

    Friday, November 26, 2004

    I'm a Coffee Achiever!

    Did I say "rather buzz-inducing?" Yowza. Considering how high a caffeine tolerance I have, this is kinda scary. But, man, at least I'm getting some housework down. And there is something kind of poetically neat about a beverage that makes a mess of your kitchen in the making, but then gives you the energy to clean it up.
    Culinary Experiments

    I've just discovered that a little milk, several scoops of vanilla ice cream, and about half a pot's worth of mocha beans makes a very tasty and rather buzz-inducing milkshake.

    I've also just discovered that if you neglect to put the cover on the coffee grinder's receptacle, you end up with a fine coating of coffee dust all over your kitchen.
    Just Beacause I Like to Think Things Through Before I Act...

    To be, or not to be?

    What is Your Shakespearian Tragic Flaw?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Computer Stuff

    Well, I finally bit the bullet and installed SP2 on my PC. I was getting sick and tired of it constantly popping up and "reminding" me that I had updates to install. Damn machine has all the persistence of a two-year-old asking for a glass of juice. Anyway, so, yeah, I finally installed it, and then promptly went in and turned most of the features off. I've already got a perfectly good firewall, thanks, and I'm quite capable of monitoring my own anti-virus software. Heck, Norton practically monitors itself. Anyway, nothing's crashed so far, so yay.

    Speaking of Norton Anti-Virus, by the way, I also upgraded from the 2002 to 2005 version. But, man, is it just me, or does Symantec seem to want to make it difficult to buy their products? Every time I've tried to buy an upgrade or a renewal from them, it's been a hassle. Their webpage says the program itself will walk you through a renewal, but all it does is ask you for a subscription key. Which you have to order your renewal through the website to get. But there's no obvious link on their website that takes you to a place where you can do that. If you go searching for one, you end up with a "helpful" AI which is supposed to answer your questions. It'll give you a link, but if you click on it, you get an error. Aaargh! It must've taken me half an hour just to figure out how to renew my subscription (at which point, I discovered that it'd actually be cheaper to upgrade, so it became kind of pointless, anyway). There are people at Symantec who clearly need to be beaten with a stick.

    Thursday, November 25, 2004

    Mmm, Turkey...

    I hope all those who celebrate have had (or are still having) a happy Thanksgiving. I went up to Albuquerque to have dinner with an old high school friend of mine and his parents. Coincidentally, they came out to New Mexico the same time I did. His parents moved to Albuquerque, and he went to New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, where he's still living now. Anyway, they graciously invited me to Thanksgiving dinner, which was very nice, although I feel kind of guilty because I spent most of the time talking to my friend's buddy about science fiction shows. (He'd been watching a lot of Deep Space 9 lately on Spike TV.) At one point, I believe we were teasingly accused of "getting into a 'who's the biggest geek' competition." I'm not entirely sure who won.

    Then I stopped off at Wal-Mart on the way home to pick up sundry necessities and do my last few bits of Christmas shopping. (Oh, and I bought Season 4 of Angel. I think that'll be next up after the Babylon 5.) I gotta say, shopping the day after Thanksgiving may be a nightmare, but shopping on Thanksgiving is actually pretty nice. I don't think I've ever seen that store so dead, except for the one time I went at 11 PM and I could barely shop because they were buffing all the floors.
    Before I Head Off to Eat Turkey, It's Yet Another Search Request Thursday!

  • Garp model, alien species, 2004: I dunno, I hear this year's alien species models are mostly inferior to last year's.

  • boardgames cowboy trails: Step in a cowpat, lose a turn? Sounds exciting.

  • personality self-test and science/psychology behind it: Some of those things have very little science behind 'em.

  • nevil shute on the beach well known scripts: Well, there was a movie version. I suppose the script for that qualifies as moderately well known.

  • tokyo get to poesy everybody on the floor: Sounds like a wacky new dance craze!

  • "dean koontz" "mary sue": Well, his characters do often tend to be horror writers, don't they?

  • dargo trade: Hmm, all right, I'll trade D'Argo for, um, Pilot and Stark. That's probably a favorable exchange at the going rate.

  • Mary Shelley Frankenstein inspired science fiction cloning robots nature: I think you'll find that a hell of a lot of SF on those subjects was inspired (or at least influenced) by Frankenstein in one fashion or another.

  • children's book danny the spaceboy: Damn, that sounds familiar. Now it's going to bother me, wondering where I know that from.

  • watchable NUDE PICS: As opposed to the unwatchable ones, which I really don't even want to think about.

  • annoying grey frog moped: Yeah, those frogs on mopeds annoy the hell out of me, too. They cut through traffic, they never signal their turns... They make those disgusting "croak" noises...

  • blake dream: I've had dreams about Blake. And many other interesting science fiction characters.

  • star wars tpol pics: Wait, T'Pol's on Star Wars now? Man, that Vulcan gets around!

  • gigi edgley's sister: I don't even know if she has a sister, but I guarantee you, if she does, she's out of your league, as well.

  • mummy coaster pov videos: Which, if you are prone to motion sickness (and British), will make you cry, "Mummy!"

  • frodo no resist of ticklish image: Ah, if only Sauron had known Frodo's weakness, that pesky war need never have happened at all.
  • Wednesday, November 24, 2004

    Happy Appreciation-Having

    Tomorrow is the day we here in America are supposed to set aside for "giving thanks." (In reality, we mostly set it aside for eating turkey, which I'm definitely intending to do. But that is supposed to be the idea.) As a non-theist, I have to admit, I've always been a tiny bit uncomfortable with that, because "giving thanks" really means "giving thanks to God." And I don't believe there's a deity who is responsible for my good fortune, or who exists to receive my thanks. But I am very, very much capable of being appreciative of the things I have, and grateful to my fellow human beings for the good things they do. And, in that spirit, I want to talk about the several things that have happened today that have made me happy.

    To begin with, it's a beautiful day. The sky is blue, the trees are golden, and the weather is just cool enough to make my comfy Blogger hoodie feel absolutely perfect without punishing me if I walk outside without putting it on.

    I was watching some Babylon 5 on DVD earlier (in itself something to be "thankful" for), and remembered that I needed to drop by a friend's house and pick up some other tapes and DVDs I'd lent him. (Including the entire series run of Blake's 7, which, by the way, he loved.) So I gave the guy a call and headed over there. When I walked in the door, I was greeted by Babylon 5 playing on DVD. And I'm thinking now how delighted I am that I have friends who share my enthusiasms and tastes. Y'know, the memory of being a lonely junior high school geek who thought she'd probably never find any kindred spirits is still awfully strong.

    After visiting my friend, I went by the local Tastee Freez for an ice cream (having promised myself a low-fat dinner and no snacks for the rest of the day, because I've been slipping at the healthy-eating stuff way too often of late). There was a sign at the drive-in window saying "We will close at 4 PM today." "Good for you," I thought. "Go home. Spend some time with your families." I've had to work on holidays, and late the day before holidays, often enough. It's good to see people with shit jobs catch a bit of a break once in a while. I didn't say this, mind you. I just ordered my ice cream. And when the woman with the crappy fast-food job handed me my ice cream and I reached for my wallet to pay for it, she smiled and said, "Don't worry about it. Have a happy Thanksgiving!" Yes, she gave me free ice cream. And you know something? I have a really strong urge now to go and do something nice for somebody else.

    That's stuff to be appreciative of.

    Tuesday, November 23, 2004

    This Is What It's Like Being Me.

    So, I was looking at my watch today to remind myself what date it was, and I found myself thinking, "Hmm, November 23rd, that sounds familiar..." And then I realized, yes, of course, it was the anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who.

    I did not have this reaction yesterday, on the anniversary of the JFK assassination.

    This either says something very interesting about my brain, or something very sad, or quite possibly both.
    Yay! It's My Favorite Deadly Sin!

    You scored as Sloth.















    Seven deadly sins
    created with

    That's really not any sort of a surprise at all.
    Wax On, Wax Off

    So there's been some discussion about earwax here -- wow, that's a weird sentence to type -- and my buddy Greta mentioned also having earwax problems but wanting to try the "ear cone" (or "ear candling") method, because she doesn't like having water in her ears. Which, man, is an attitude I can sympathize with. But, having gotten into this discussion, I feel the need to provide a little public service announcement. The truth is that ear candling really does appear to be, in the aforementioned words of Penn & Teller, bullshit. Not only does it not work, but it's actually rather unsafe. Here's a pretty good little article explaining this procedure, what the claims are for it, and what the actual scientific facts about it are.

    Seriously, people, if you've got problems with earwax and over-the-counter eardrops aren't working, just go see your doctor. The procedure takes about two minutes and involves nothing scarier than a jet of water.

    Monday, November 22, 2004

    Just a Squirt From Her Syringe and the Deaf Begin to Hear...

    I just had lumps of earwax the size of my pinky fingernail extracted from my ears with the medical equivalent of a firehose. And, man, I can't believe how loud everything sounds. I actually caught myself just now wondering what the heck was wrong with my computer mouse, because it wasn't making noisy clicking sounds like that before...

    Sunday, November 21, 2004

    Hey, I Never Thought About It Before, But I Bet I Do Have More Books Than Clothes!

    Some may call you bookish, and mean it in a bad
    way.....but we know better! Delighting in
    books, and very likely with more tomes than
    clothes, you amaze others with your knowledge
    of the obscure and the common.

    Books alone cannot a life make, but you know this
    as love having chats with others
    who love words and ideas as much as yourself!

    Can I play in your library? Please??

    You are The Favourite Poet by Alma~Tadema.

    Which Pre~Raphaelite Painting Are You?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    I Love Bullshit!

    I got a nice box full of goodies from Amazon this weekend, including a DVD set of the TV series Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, which I was very interested in, but hadn't gotten the chance to see because I don't have Showtime. I'm not sure I've ever gone through a DVD set quite this fast, and, having now watched the entire first season and all the extras, I simply want to say: I love Penn and Teller, and wish to have their babies.

    Television is full -- over-full -- of garbage whose purveyors care infinitely more about sensationalism and ratings than they do about truth. How the hell are people who get most of their information from television supposed to be informed about the pseudo-scientific crap that's constantly being pushed on them, from pet psychics to fraudulent diet aids, when the too-good-to-be-true claims get all the airtime (to the tune of breathless gasping), and the guy with the actual scientific evidence never makes it in front of the camera?

    Well, Penn & Teller do their damnedest to rectify that situation and to inject a little critical thinking and common sense, and they're deeply entertaining as they do it. They're also abrasive, sometimes even abusive, but they tend to aim their vitriol at the folks who really deserve it. I've been known in the past to complain (e.g. in reference to Carl Sagan, for whom I otherwise have great respect) that pushing a skeptical agenda by taking a negative or condescending tone is more likely to alienate the people you're trying to reach than to convert them. But I think P&T get away with it, because they're not saying, "Hey, if you believe John Edward can talk to dead people you're a moron!" but rather, "Hey, you! Don't let this con artist scumbag capitalize on your grief and your entirely understandable urge for comfort to make himself filthy stinkin' rich." I think that's a good approach. Don't tell people how dumb and deluded they are. Give 'em the facts -- the real facts -- and tell 'em, "There, now you know what we know, and you won't be taken in."

    Great stuff. I can't wait for season 2.

    Saturday, November 20, 2004

    In Which I Exercise Restraint. Kind Of.

    I have a terrible urge to start bitching here about my horrible, crippling overabundance of earwax, but I think I'll spare you.
    That's Too Incredible!

    So, I'm sitting here this morning making a desperate attempt to get caught up on at least some of my e-mail, and I was pleased to find a real chuckle in my inbox when a friend forwarded me a copy of this article: "Studios Sue Pixar, Demand Bad Movie." Having missed the headline somehow, and still being on my second cup of morning coffee, I'm ashamed to admit that it took me half a paragraph to realize it was a spoof, but it's one of those "funny because it's true" kinds of things. Heh. There are other equally funny articles on the website he found it at, too. It looks kinda like an entertainment-themed version of The Onion.

    Thursday, November 18, 2004

    That's Incredible!

    So, I just got back from seeing The Incredibles. I don't get out to the movies much these days, alas, but I really wanted to make a point of catching that one, and I'm glad I did. I went into it with high expectations and enjoyed it pretty thoroughly, which is always a great combination. I know everybody and their dog has recommended this movie by now, but let me just add my voice to the chorus. Good story, great characters, lots of fun, lots of laughs, and it looked great.
    Search Request Thursday

  • venture brothers pics naked: From what I've seen of that show, I don't want to see any of those characters naked. Well, maybe the blond guy.

  • song with stepping into the twilight zone: That would be "Twilight Zone" by Golden Earring. You're welcome.

  • lemony snicket ticklish: Yes, it's probably one of the ways he's been tortured...

  • friar tuck emoticon: Does it have one of those cute little monk haircuts? (What is that called? A tonsure?)

  • compare fifth business to catcher in the rye: Can't. Haven't read either of 'em. Sorry.

  • "On The Road" plot diagram jack kerouac: I haven't read On the Road, either, but I'm a little surprised to hear that it has a plot.

  • dental monolog pics funny: 'Cause dentistry is just inherently funny.

  • music video harry/legolas: OK, that's gotta involve some creative editing.

  • description of the setting for congo by michael crichton: Er... Wasn't it set in the Congo?

  • "Tyr Anasazi" pics sexy: OK, now, that's just redundant.

  • old cruiseline ticket stubs: People collect odd things...

  • respiratory system of the fricken human nose: I think somebody's suffering from a cold/allergies. Man, I know how it is.

  • grumpy and betty boob: Ah, yes, the Boobs. Nice couple.

  • fanfic: clothespins: Wow, people really will write fanfic for absolutely anything these days.

  • when does raw hamburger spoil in the fridge: Dude, there are things growing on that! Throw it out!

  • "garak" "pregnant" "bashir" -"episode guide": Don't want to accidentally get search results involving any actual episodes where Garak and Bashir get pregnant...

  • Wednesday, November 17, 2004

    My Latest Automotive Adventure

    Damn it. I've always laughed at people who've managed to lock their keys in their car (especially with the car running), so I want to state, just for the record, that when it finally happened to me, it was not my fault.

    I don't remember what the last thing I said about the state of my car here was... I think I mentioned that I took it up to the body shop in Albuquerque, that they kept it for an annoyingly long time, put a new door on it, spiffed it up all nice and shiny, and gave it back to me.

    Well, a few days later, I was trying to unlock the door, something went click!, and the lock just... broke. I could turn the key, but nothing would happen. So I called the body shop again. They said this was a minor thing, easily fixed, and that, rather than make the trip up there I could get my local mechanic to fix it and they'd pay for it. So I did. The local mechanic said, yep, it was an easy thing, fixed it pretty quick, and charged me $50 for labor, which I figured I could get back from the body shop later.

    The mechanic did say he thought I should probably take it back up sometime to have the door "adjusted," whatever that means. I had noticed that sometimes when I shut it, it wouldn't latch properly and I'd have to give it a bump. I also noticed that, post-fixing-by-local-mechanic, the key didn't turn nearly as easily or the lock button pop up nearly as high, but I didn't think too much of it.

    Then, this morning, I got off of work and noticed that, since it was a cold, foggy morning, my car was all covered in frosty moisture. So I unlocked the car, turned it on, put the heater on to defrost the windshield, got out, closed the door, and proceeded to wipe off the other windows. Then I went to open the door... and couldn't. Aaargh.

    I will say, however, that this little incident did lead to me making the interesting and rather surprising discovery that the organization I work for keeps an official set of car-thief tools on premises.

    So, yes, I did get back into the vehicle, after about half an hour. Fortunately, it had two-thirds of a tank of gas. But now I really, really need to get in touch with the damned body shop. Because I'm taking it back up there, and they're fixing it, damn it. Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to call them since I had it worked on, as I've been asleep during all the hours they're open for the last couple of weeks.

    Damned cars. It's always bloody something.
    See? Astrology Is Complete Bullshit.

    You are 13% Cancer

    Tuesday, November 16, 2004

    Everybody Complains About the Weather...

    OK, remember that rain we had on the weekend that made me feel all lazy-weekend-tucked-up-at-home-snug-and-happy? Yeah, well, too much of a good thing, yadda, yadda... Enough is enough already! We've been having light-to-moderate rain off and on for days now, which is really unusual for New Mexico, and it's starting to annoy me, mainly because it's turned the unpaved trailer park I live in into one vast field of sucking mud. Which is actually somewhat better than the flooding we've had here in the past due to severe downpours, but, honestly, it's just the difference between living in a swamp and living in a bog. I have to put on boots just to go out to my car (and thus change in and out of my regular shoes whenever I leave the house), and every time I go out, I wonder if I'm going to make it, or if this is going to be the time I get stuck and/or skid into something.

    Stupid rain. Stupid mud.

    Fortunately, it looks like it's finally beginning to clear up a tiny bit, and if I remember the forecast, it's supposed to be sunny later in the week. I wonder how long it's going to take for all this stuff to dry out?

    Sunday, November 14, 2004

    Evil Lizards from Space!

    Since I know you're all just constantly dying to be kept updated on what I've been watching on DVD, I'll mention that I just finished the first half of V: The Original Miniseries. This was, for some reason, the first DVD I ever bought. And the fact that I'm only just now getting around to watching it tells you, I think, just how backed up I got how quickly.

    Man... This show seemed much, much better when I was twelve. I actually did remember how extremely implausible it was, but I seem to have forgotten how very slow it was, at least for the first 45 minutes or so. And the social-commentary aspect, with its warning about how disturbingly easy it is to find oneself living in a police state, ought to seem more relevant now than ever, but instead it just feels heavy-handed and awkward, possibly because I'm comparing it unfavorably to the way Babylon 5 handled the same subject. The effects, which were pretty darned good for 1983, seem only mildly lame now, although, I dunno, I was also watching some Blake's 7 earlier today, and it occurs to me that FX which are state of the art at the time they're produced almost seem to age faster than ones that, uh, aren't, possibly because when you know your FX are crappy, you tend not to dwell on them as much. Oh, and as for the other production values, the acting, the writing... All I can say is, meh.

    On the other hand, there's something about the sheer cheesiness of it that's just fun. And I still love Willy the Lizard, who is so darned cute that I wanna take him home and cuddle him.

    I think I'm gonna watch part 2 tomorrow, if I have time. And after that, of course, there's always V: The Final Battle...
    Weather Report

    Hey, that's not rain! That's snow! Wow.

    Saturday, November 13, 2004


    Random kittens!
    Pie Update

    I now have pie! I decided I really needed to go out and get some milk, so, y'know, while I was at it... Anyway, it's in the oven right now. I even got some vanilla ice cream to go with it. My decadence knows no bounds!

    And now I think I'm going to go and curl up under the covers with a cheesy vampire novel while it bakes.

    Man, every day should be like this.
    Comfort Food

    It's all wet and chilly outside today, and I'm experiencing a craving for some nice, hot, apple pie. Unfortunately, getting nice, hot apple pie would involve changing out of my comfy lounging-around-in jammies and actually going out, which would kinda spoil the warm, comforting, lazy mood which I wish the apple pie to enhance.

    Such are the sad, sad dilemmas of my life.
    Pop Culture ---> Politics

    So, I was watching some of the DVD extras on my Simpsons discs last night, and there was a little feature on the fuss that ensued when Barbara Bush criticized the show in a newspaper interview and Bush, Sr. later said in a speech that the American family ought to be "more like The Waltons and less like The Simpsons" (to much cheering, I might add). It was all kind of cute and funny, actually, but I found, somewhat to my surprise, that listening to that tiny clip of Bush's speech made me feel really, viscerally angry. Probably I'm oversensitive from all the mess stirred up by the last election. But it raised a question in my mind, and it's not actually a rhetorical question, because I'd really like to hear an explanation or something from someone who has a different view of these things than I do, because I clearly don't understand the mindset at all.

    Here's the thing: The statement that preceded the Waltons/Simpsons line was a highly impassioned promise that the Bush administration was deeply dedicated to the goal of "strengthening the American family." Now, what I want to know is this (putting aside for the moment any separate issues I might -- OK, do -- have with Bush's definitions of "strengthening" and "family"): How the hell is it the job of the government to strengthen families? I mean, my understanding of the reason we have governments is to do things that are for the common good but which, as individuals it is impractical or impossible for us to do for ourselves. So it's the government's job to build things like roads which are for the public use, to defend the country, to enforce the rule of law, even to provide for the poor. But I can't for the life of me see how "family" comes under that purview. Is Bush saying that Americans aren't capable of keeping their own families "strong," whatever the hell he means by that, or deciding for themselves what "strength" means to their families? Is he saying that my relationship with my family is as much the government's concern as my relationship to the public roads, or the police? He is, isn't he?

    OK. Deep breath. Done with political rant now. Really and truly.

    Umm... So, hey, there were some great Simpsons episodes in season 4, weren't there?

    Thursday, November 11, 2004

    I'm So Boring, I Just Sit Around and Do Stupid Quizzes.

    I'm Just a Tad Boring
    I'm Just a Tad Boring
    Take Just How Interesting Are You? today!
    Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

    People don't avoid you, but they don't exactly flock to hear your stories, either. You could stand to be a little more intriguing. Try wearing a red cloak, carrying a sword, and speaking only in French. If that fails to spice things up, try building your house entirely out of popsicle sticks.
    Search Request Thursday

    Oh, OK, I stopped playing Rack Attack long enough to do this:

  • ragan diet: I don't like to think of myself as having a "diet." I much prefer the term "lifestyle change." Not that I'm any good at it.

  • how to apply a fantsy makeup: First, decide on your fantasy...

  • "movie captures" t'pol: I wasn't aware she was in a movie. Or did Enterprise somehow transition to the big screen while I wasn't looking?

  • tinhg weird science: That's sometinhg weird all right...

  • Levity mood-elevating formula shopping: Many people seem to find that shopping elevates their mood.

  • mudding party pics: Because people who never get invited to real parties can still party in muds. (And, yeah, I know, like I'm one to talk...)

  • nude pics of female twi'lek from star wars: Alas, I fear I shall lose all of my geek cred, but I must admit that I don't even know what species that is, let alone have nude pics of them.

  • poison harveys boobs: Wow. Um... Poor Harvey, I guess.

  • nude arctic: Brrr!

  • thanksgiving holiday nude pics: Because nothing says "warm family holiday" like naughty pictures.

  • farscape chiana hairstyle: I think you pretty much have to be Nebari to pull that one off.

  • pics of wreck trucks as a result of D.W.I: I imagine they look pretty much like trucks wrecked as a result of anything else, really.

  • Grannys weblog ever own free of charge weblog: Granny's a bit forgetful these days and tends not to remember what words she's already typed.

  • prehistory porn thumbs: Well, hey, who knows what cavemen found sexy?

  • defintion cheapskate: Somebody too stingy to pay for an extra "i"?
  • So Many Timewasters, So Little Time...

    I should have known better than to download Scrabble Rack Attack. I am now going to get absolutely nothing useful done for the foreseeable future.
    Abuse? But I Came Here for an Argument!

    You are the Abuse Clerk. You dish out verbal abuse all day long as the customer keeps paying. AAH, what satisfying work!
    You are the Abuse Clerk! You dish out verbal (and
    some physical!) abuse all day long as
    the customer keeps payin'! Aaah...such
    satisfying work!

    What Monty Python Sketch Character are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Wednesday, November 10, 2004

    I've Been Called a Lunatic Before...

    You Are From the Moon

    You can vibe with the steady rhythms of the Moon.
    You're in touch with your emotions and intuition.
    You possess a great, unmatched imagination - and an infinite memory.
    Ultra-sensitive, you feel at home anywhere (or with anyone).
    A total healer, you light the way in the dark for many.

    Well, that description is pretty darned wrong...
    Content? I Laugh at Content!

    War Head

    Your a War-Head! Your sour and spitful and you put on a false show of aggression. You seem like the hateful type and you are quick to insult or curse someone out. Though you act like tough, undernearth all the spite you are a really vulnurable, sweet person.

    Thanks for taking my quiz! Please take a moment to take my new Quiz! How Excitable Are You?

    What Kind of Candy Are You?- With Images!

    Hmm, apparently I got this result because I kept answering "Fuck that" to the questions. Methinks they have mistaken apathy for aggression...

    (And is it just me, or is "spitful" one of the more amusing lame quizilla typos?)

    Monday, November 08, 2004

    Holy Moly!


    What herb are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Decisions, Decisions

    So, my boss just called and said, basically, that they were out of work for me to do tonight. Which doesn't surprise me, really... We were almost out when I left this morning, and I guess they weren't able to get us anything new in. It doesn't happen very often these days, but it does, occasionally, happen.

    Now I've got a choice. I can go in tonight and find something to do... which shouldn't be too difficult, as we've got a ton of random instructions tacked up on a wall that really need to be gotten together and edited into something we can point to and call "documentation" with a straight face. And that's kind of up my alley, as I guess I'm the one in the office with the "word skills," as opposed to the "computer skills." If I were a good employee, I'd go in and do it.

    On the other hand, I've got a lot of vacation time I can burn, and my boss won't object at all if I take some and just don't come in. Which is very, very tempting, given that I really didn't get quite enough sleep today and that I have a few things here at home that I could probably use a little extra time to do.

    Well, we'll see how I feel in a while. After, y'know, I'm actually awake...

    Sunday, November 07, 2004

    This Again

    Oh, look, it's another meme. A recurring meme, even.

    Current clothes: Tan jeans. A t-shirt from Weird Al Yankovic's latest tour, featuring the cover of his most recent album (a picture of Al standing in a subway car with a poodle on his head). But you can't see the t-shirt, because there's a gray sweatshirt over it, with a zippered collar and the emblem of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines on the breast. Oh, and I'm wearing white tube socks. No shoes.

    Current mood: Kinda bleh. I've got to go to work in about half an hour, and I'm already sleepy. I got a lot of stuff accomplished this weekend, which is nice, but now my brain's all fuzzy and I'm tired, and I'm really not ready for a night shift.

    Current music: I was mostly recently listening to a random playlist on the mp3 player. Which tossed up "Carnlough Bay" by the Battlefield Band, a short interview with Gene Roddenberry, a bunch of reels by Altan, "Txalaparta" by the Chieftains, and "Gridlock" by the Pogues. Apparently it was on a bit of a Celtic kick...

    Current annoyance: Having to go to work. I really am so not ready for a night shift. I barely made it past midnight last night.

    Current thing: Spending way too damn much time in front of the computer. Still.

    Current desktop picture: A very, very cool Farscape wallpaper featuring Stark, which was made for me by a Scaper who thought she owed me a favor.

    Current song in head: There've been a bunch of 'em today. "Uninvited" by Alanis Morisette was getting a lot of brain-play earlier, but it seems to have faded now.

    Current book: How to Be a Villain by Neil Zawacki, a book which features such useful self-help hints as "Best Times to Use Your Evil Laugh."

    Current video in player: None at the moment, but most recently a tape I was copying Farscape episodes onto. As I usually am.

    Current DVD in player: Disc one of The Simpsons season 4.

    Current refreshment: Mint tea.

    Current worry: How hard it's gonna be to stay awake through my shift.

    Current thought: That there's a miniscule chance I might get to go home early. *crosses fingers and hopes*

    Friday, November 05, 2004

    I Don't Get Out Much, So I Read.

    OK, I've seen this book meme a few places now. And, y'know, it's a book meme. How can I resist?


    Hardback or Paperback? Both have their advantages. Hardbacks are more durable, paperbacks are more portable... I'll happily buy and read either. I also buy a fair number of trade paperbacks. The larger format is nice, especially for heavily illustrated books, but they're usually considerably cheaper than hardbacks.

    Highlight or Underline? Highlighting, but only in textbooks actively being used in a class, which sort of don't count as "real" books. Otherwise, very emphatically neither.

    Lewis or Tolkien? I enjoy both, but if forced to pick, I'll have to say Tolkien. I really ought to re-read Lord of the Rings one of these days.

    E.B. White or A.A. Milne? Ooh, tough call. I adored White as a kid, but I find myself deeply charmed by Milne, even as an adult. So it's Milne, by a whisker.

    T.S. Eliot or e.e. cummings? Hmm. I haven't read either properly, really. I've read bits and pieces of "The Hollow Men," which has left me with the impression that Eliot is capable of some wonderfully vivid and memorable turns of phrase, but that he's one of those poets who you pretty much have to be in order to understand their work completely. Which annoys me. Language should communicate, damn it, and if you're the only person capable of understanding what you've written, in my view you've failed as a writer. As for cummings, he really annoyed me on first acquaintance, as I thought his lack of capitals and structure both pointless and pretentious. But, then, I was a snot-nosed kid then and pretty much looked down on poetry in general. I vaguely remember encountering cummings again much more recently and being surprised by how well the rhythms of his language worked. So, um, I think I'd have to really go back and look at both of 'em again to make a judgment.

    Stephen King or Dean Koontz? They both have their good and bad points. Koontz is great at suspense and characterization and writes a great supernatural potboiler, but he basically just writes the same damned book over and over again. King is actually very talented with language, and when he's really on he can send the shivers up your spine like nobody's business, but he just doesn't know how to edit, and nobody's willing to do it for him. Regardless, I'm going to go with King, because, if offered a choice, I'm pretty sure I'd pick a King novel I hadn't read over a Koontz novel I might as well have read five or six times already.

    Barnes & Noble or Borders? Waldenbooks or B. Dalton? Waldenbooks and B. Dalton, sadly, are kinda pathetic these days. I spent many happy hours browsing their shelves as a child, but either their selections have gone downhill or my standards have elevated considerably, or both. Borders and Barnes & Noble are both great, but I shop at Borders a lot more often because there's one conveniently located at one of the Albuquerque malls.

    Fantasy or Science Fiction? I read a ton of both, and I don't necessarily tend to think of them as distinct genres, as they really do blend into each other at the edges. I do read more science fiction than fantasy overall, I think, and much of the fantasy I do read is kind of on the fringes of the genre, as opposed to the Tolkienesque Epic Fantasy stuff that seems to predominate these days.

    Horror or Suspense? Either, if it's done well. Although I probably read quite a few more books labelled as being in the horror genre than the suspense genre. Horror kind of blends into fantasy at one end in pretty much the same way fantasy blends into science fiction, and I tend to just go for that whole "speculative fiction" realm as a whole.

    Bookmark or Dogear? Bookmark! Dogearing is marginally acceptable in textbooks, and an abomination anywhere else.

    Hemingway or Faulkner? The Hemingway I was forced to read in high school left me with a strong dislike of the guy's writing style. I occasionally think I should maybe go back and give him another try, but I've never been particularly motivated. I've never read any Faulkner.

    Fitzgerald or Steinbeck? I was also forced to read Fitzgerald in high school, and also very much disliked him. The Great Gatsby was actually one of the better-received assignments in my English class... I think I was the only person who didn't like it, probably because I simply cannot stand hanging around with shallow people, whether real or fictional, and Gatsby's about as shallow as they come. I think my English teacher's constant dwelling on the Deep Symbolism of the book's every trivial detail didn't help, either. In any case, it left me with zero desire to read any more Fitzgerald. So Steinbeck, who I've never read, wins by default.

    John Irving or John Updike? I've never read either, but The World According to Garp is on my To-Read Pile, so I guess Irving wins.

    Homer or Plato? Tough call. Homer told interesting stories, but got way too long-winded about it. Plato had some weird-ass ideas, but he presented them in a very readable and engaging way. I suppose it'd depend entirely on what I was in the mood for.

    Geoffrey Chaucer or Edmund Spenser? I read a few bits of the Canterbury Tales in English class, and couldn't really see the appeal. I suppose it might be interesting to give Spenser a try sometime, though I doubt I ever will.

    Pen or Pencil? Definitely a pen. Although a keyboard is infinitely preferable to either.

    Looseleaf or Notebook? Notebook. I'd lose looseleaf if I tried to keep notes on it.

    Alphabetize: By Author or By Title? By author, and then by title for each individual author. For fiction, anyway. My non-fiction is roughly organized by subject.

    Dustjacket: On or Off? On.

    Novella or Epic? A story should be as long as it needs to be, no longer and no shorter. These days, they seem far more likely to be too long than too short.

    John Grisham or Scott Turow? Haven't read either one, and I couldn't even tell you want kind of books Turow writes. So Grisham, I guess. My mother likes him, I think, and our tastes at least occasionally agree.

    J.K. Rowling or Lemony Snicket? I greatly enjoy both, but I think, while Rowling may provide a meatier reading experience, my affection for Snicket is slightly greater.

    Fiction or Non-fiction? A fiction-to-non-fiction ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 is just about perfect.

    Historical Biography or Historical Romance? Genre romance generally isn't much to my taste, so biography, I guess.

    A Few Pages per Sitting or Finish at Least a Chapter? Ideally, I prefer finishing at least a chapter, but in practice it's almost always a few pages per sitting.

    Short Story or Creative Non-fiction Essay? Apples and oranges, man.

    "It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"? I admire anybody who actually gets away with using "It was a dark and stormy night." (Hey, Madeline L'Engle did!) I also have a strange fondness for fairytale retellings, though, especially dark or modern ones. And "Once upon a time" is a lot easier to get away with...

    Buy or Borrow? Buy. Curse my book-buying addiction!

    Book Reviews or Word of Mouth? A little of each, though I tend to put more stock in casual reviews posted on blogs or newsgroups or wherever as opposed to reviews by people paid to write them for a living.