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Thumbs Up for Death
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Date:2009-04-29 11:11
Subject:on the spelling of "flyer" (warning: contains quotes from the movie CLASS ACT)

Not really sure why I was thinking about this yesterday, but I finally figured out a way to articulate my preference for spelling the word "flyer" with a Y, versus with an I, which just looks wrong.

In my house, we recently had to install a washer and dryer. A dryer is something that dries. When it dries whatever it is drying, said objects emerge from the dryer DRIER than they were.

Therefore, a flyer is something that flies. If it were spelled "flier," it would obviously be in reference to someone who is dressed better than someone else.


Kid: "Okay, so would I 'be fly' on a plane to New York?"

Play: "Depends on what you be wearin'!"

Important editor's note re: her extreme level of whiteness -- the editor had to look up which one was Kid and which one was Play, although it may be at least slightly important to note that her initial guess was correct.


Then again, a town crier is one who cries. Unless you're talking about Jon Cryer. And then there are pliers.

I give up.

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Date:2009-04-23 12:33
Subject:man I give up on writing real entries

This cat is watching you poop!!!

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Date:2009-04-23 10:14
Subject:word count is up, readership is down

I can't shake it... I can't shake the nerd in me. Or the geek, or the square, or whatever childhood holdover it is who still cares what grades I get in grad school. Of course, I'm just taking a prerequisite right now and I *have* to get a B, or it won't count. The professor said he'd post our project grades by the end of the day yesterday, and we have our final today (early, thank god... quite excited to be done with this class and reclaim just a pittance of my life, or a smidge, or a what have you). Great, because I know I have a 57 out of 60 in the class so far, and the 20 project points and the 20 points for the final are the wildcards. The max I could get on the project would be an 86, because we only got a 36 out of the first 50 points of the hundred total. The more likely grade I am anticipating is closer to a 70.

Why I'm even worrying about this is a complete moot point. I wasn't going to put more effort into studying than I did last night regardless of whether I'd found out my grade or not. I know the material, to a point. I wouldn't think I'd been successful in the class so far if I didn't. This is why I never studied for tests in high school or even usually in college... if you don't know the material, why even bother? The only possible exception I might make for this would be something like law school where obviously you have to absorb a lot of information and know it by heart, but you also end up studying a lot of obscure shit that holds no relevance. Okay, so maybe I studied for math tests once I got to functions and calc, which I view as holding the same water as obscure legal knickknackery.

Shifting gears, why do we say "by heart" when we mean "by mind"? Any Ts on the Myers-Briggs scale admit to never using this phrase? Maybe we Feeling weenies (yes I just said "feeling weenies") want to think (or feel...) -- to believe so badly in our heart of hearts (!!! there it goes again) -- that when you know something, truly know it, you don't just have it memorized and stored and compartmentalized, but you FEEL IT IN YOUR BONES. Which is a stupid phrase, by the way, because you're not dumping memory into your marrow.

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Date:2009-04-22 11:06
Subject:"ghetto blaster" was in my old English-French dictionary

On NPR this morning I heard that All Things Considered was doing a segment on the rise and fall of the boom box. This got me thinking about the morphing of personal music players from large and public into tiny and private, from boom boxes (or, er, ah, "ghetto blasters" I guess) to Walkmen (how do you copyright a plural version that doesn't involve simply adding an "-s" to the end?), Discmen, and mp3 players/iPods/whatever. Of course soon we'll just have tiny implanted microchips where we can dock ourselves instead of our iPods to get new music.

The whole '80s inner city stereotype of a dude walking down the street with a boom box on one shoulder, that dude to me is saying (translated from stereotypical street dude talk into silly white girl vaguely impersonating some unclassifiable inner city dialect), "Yo, check out what I'm listening to. You love it. And even if you don't love it, I don't care. My music is the best, and it's LOUD." Non-street dudes, meanwhile, were like, "Music in public? How rude. I'll put my records on the hi-fi while I'm entertaining." What's your secret? Naturally, I'll say it's the wine. Mmm, it DOES go well with the chicken. Delicious again, Peter!

Then when we were in Walkman/Discman territory, but pretty much pre-Internet (don't ruin my fun, early '90s college students and fellow BBSers), the "music is for listening to only in my home" folks were intrigued and tried it out, and listened to, I dunno, James Taylor at comfortable volumes. You and I might have listened to mix tapes our older sisters or friends or crushes made us and that was how we got into Soundgarden or the Butthole Surfers. We were probably bumping these at considerably higher volume than Peter's dinner party guests, but we're not trying to get anybody to pay attention to what we're listening to. In fact, we're probably pretending we're invisible, because we're going through an awkward phase. And listening at a still higher volume, you've got that "loud music at any cost!" group, maybe with some of the former boom box guys in it, who still don't care that you can hear what they have on, who probably WANT you to hear it, the ones who also play music in their car at a ridiculous decibel level.

Okay, so then iPods and all that shit happened. My portable music player, she is so small and discreet! She is like an O.B. tampon that I can just tuck in my pocket and take with me anywhere, the Prince Charles to my Camilla Parker-Bowles! I don't want anybody bothering me in public, so I'm going to listen to this thing all the time... but then I'm going to politely blog and Twizzle (I have decided that this, and not "tweet" or "twit" or "twitter," is the acceptable verb form of Twitter) and update my Facebook status update and use last.fm and iTunes and let everybody know what I'm listening to! See? Still discreet, not forcing anybody else to hear it as I'm listening to it. But essentially, it's the written equivalent of hoisting a boom box onto your shoulder.

This entry could have used a little more cohesive transition between thoughts. Forgive me, I'm still trying to drag myself from the short attention span media back into one that requires concentration for several paragraphs and minutes at a time.

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Date:2009-04-21 10:39
Subject:as it soaks you to the bone

Pain in the morning rain, indeed. Yesterday in DC it was just... dear god. It was gross. I was depressed as all get out to begin with, Sunday night lingering into Monday morning, and some sun or even just dry turf could've cured that partially at least, but no. Es regnet und regnet. Forgive my lack of proper tense there; we'll just pretend it's still raining at present, even though we seem to have a bit of a reprieve at the moment, enough to make me want to celebrate with a tall cappuccino this morning, which I did, thankyouverymuch.

Anyhoo, this reminded me of the day of the Radiohead concert last year, Sunday, May 11, which I don't think I wrote about at all at the time because everyone and their mother (I mean, I suppose it WAS Mother's Day, ahem) was already busy doing that, giving their take on however many hours they spent stuck in traffic getting there and/or coming back, road closures due to flooding, the general incompetence of Nissan Pavilion staff, how much of the set they missed, etc., and, for some people such as two of my dearest friends, how they returned to their house sometime past 1am to find their basement completely underwater with a lot of musical gear stored down there. So, you know, my take on it seemed relatively trivial (yes, we had traffic getting there and leaving, we got completely soaked, we missed at least the first seven or eight songs, but it was still giddiness-inducing, blah blah blah).

I don't really have a point to this post, I suppose, which I hate, and you probably hate too as a reader. I'm just trying to get back into the swing of writing in this thing, because I always say that I'm going to, and then I just spend more time posting pointless 140-character-or-less Twitter updates and responding to people's Facebook statusesesesessss when I could be writing something of length and meaning. Then again, brevity is the soul of wit. I think I missed that lesson somewhere down the line, though. Parentheses, man... parentheses and near-Faulknerian stream of consciousness are the soul of wit! And puns. Bad puns/uncle jokes.

Quick update on actual goings-on in my life besides food poisoning: bought a house, painted and spruced up, ripped a bunch of things down, moved, ripped even more things down, played cello in the pit orchestra for another musical, may have two cats for a short while because my sister needs me to catsit her fat tortie, still have to rip a whole bunch more things down and generally tear shit apart, about to finish my first class in my second attempt at grad school, that sort of thing. And I have a job, which I'm obviously not doing right now, so here I go.

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Date:2009-04-20 18:07
Subject:a rant about doing group projects with undergrads
Mood: vexed

So angry. Very unlike me, but at a loss for words. Not even using complete sentences at this point, apparently.

A bit of catch-up: I'm currently enrolled in a graduate program at GW for Information Systems Technology. I have to take two prereqs, one in systems development and one in databases, because I don't have a lot of hands-on experience with this stuff, or at least not enough to trust myself to test out of having to take these courses. Plus, I like to learn, right? Right. So I've been in a class this semester with undergrads, and we have to do a group project.

The presentation of our project is tomorrow. We've had three phases of the project so far, and deadlines for turning in certain deliverables (dear lord, kill me for using that word). We've turned in what I consider to be pretty crappy work, and we've gotten better grades than I expected. I've spent several hours on each phase of the project and I started a Google Group to discuss what we were all going to be working on and share files with one another.

Rant time: I have the shittiest group in the entire class. The professor tried to match up people with different skills, but we ended up with is a guy who appears to have some technical knowledge but is kind of a slacker (that said, he is helping me a lot with the final phase and the project presentation, which is very kind of him); a girl who seems to have a great deal of knowledge and knack for technical stuff and even has some of her own independent ideas about how we should do things, but FORGOT to turn in the third phase of our project even after I told her the professor was being lenient and giving us an extra day or two to complete it due to her grueling midterm schedule; a guy who is absolutely 100% mentally retarded (sorry, campaign to end the R word, etc., but I am not politically correct, so please fuck off presently) and I have no idea why he is even enrolled in a program of this nature, because he seems to also be an undergrad even though he can't be a day younger than 40; and me, a generalist with some skills, including being able to write my way out of a paper bag and do some web programming and other shit here and there as I need to learn it.

I became the de facto group leader, big surprise, so I've been like the group mom even though I haven't really wanted to be. The worst part about this is I have nearly 100% in the rest of the class, so this project, which counts for 20% of my grade, frankly doesn't matter as long as I do well on our final, which is this Thursday (I got a 38 out of 40 on the last test and this test covers a lot of the same material). What I'm trying to say is that I don't really give a shit about our project grade. Forgive me. But we still have to present our system to the class, and I don't want us to look like total idiots/jerks, so I made a quick mock-up of part of the system that works and looks good and we're going to present it and hopefully get like a 50% because I REALLY DON'T CARE.

Also, on April 7, I sent a message to the group through Google Groups dictating exactly what everybody should do for the final phase, since we had done a poor job of planning thus far. Retarded guy emails me yesterday morning asking if I could resend the email in which I said what he should be working on. I said, it's posted to the Google Group. He emails me fifteen minutes ago (less than 24 hours before our presentation) and says he can't find it. This is the same guy who actually didn't know how to log in to Google Groups and didn't log in for two or three weeks because he couldn't figure it out and didn't figure it out during that time. HE IS ENROLLED IN AN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM.

Whew. Okay. Wish me luck on the test, I guess, because this ship is motherfucking sinking.

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Date:2009-04-16 10:51

So I suppose I don't post much on here anymore. Since my last entry was about my Feb. 21 food poisoning debacle (almost wrote "foo poisoning"... like what I feel looking at Dave Grohl these days), I'll use this opportunity to point out that I have received my bills, they are high and annoying but manageable, and if I go to the ER again this year for whatever reason, I will not have to pay nearly as much because I have almost met my yearly deductible. They did a helpful breakdown of costs on the back... turns out I was "class 4" on a 1 to 5 and then critical scale. GOOD TO KNOW! Jeez. I guess it's a good thing I went to the hospital. Of course, the higher the class/closer to critical you are, the more expensive your bills.

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Date:2009-02-24 15:24
Subject:fun, fun times

so this is a story all about how I had food poisoning and went to the ER from 1am to 7:30am Saturday morning and just got back into eating solid foods todayCollapse )

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Date:2009-02-05 10:02
Subject:Meaty tea
Mood: meaty

Proof that Lapsang Souchong can only be described as "meaty tea" -- I just brewed a cup and my favorite coworker sniffed and said, "Do you smell bacon?"

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Date:2009-01-14 10:53

Dave Grohl is 40 years old today. I always used him as the measure of oldness beyond which I would be unable to find someone a suitable romantic partner... he's about 11.5 years older than I am. At 13, having a crush on a 24-year-old was totally ideal. At 28, the crush has dissipated a bit (mostly due to his music sucking now), but unlike that tool Christian Slater, who was my fleeting crush from age 10-11, I totally can't forget about my dearest darling Dave Grohl.

One humid summer day back in 2001 or 2002, we drove around a certain neighborhood of Alexandria looking for his house. Apparently we weren't that far off, as a certain someone found out shortly thereafer that he worked with one of Grohl's neighbors, but she wouldn't divulge the address out of some semblance of privacy and respect. Fuck that, I wouldn't have been a bother, I just wanted to leave flowers in his mailbox or something! Or recordings, maybe. Or a bouquet bound together by the ribbon from old cassette tape recordings I'd made. Okay, I'm starting to sound like the uberfan from Flight of the Conchords here.

In conclusion: 40 isn't old, if you're a tree.

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Date:2009-01-13 10:16
Subject:lazily posting a meme

Respond if you wish...

01. Name:
02. Birthday:
03. Where do you live:
04: What are you studying/What are you working as:
05. What makes you happy:
06. What are you listening to now/have listened to last:
07. What is particularly good/bad about my LJ: (this question is stupid, no?)
08. An interesting fact about you:
09. Are you in love/have a crush at the moment:
10. Favorite place to be:
11. Favorite lyric:
12. Best time of the year:
13. Weirdest food you like:

01. A film:
02. A book:
03. A song:
04: A band:

I'm leaving out the "things you like about me and things you like about yourself and repost this in your LJ blah blah blah" section... just want some fun reading and to find out more about some of you, or see what those of you I know well come up with.

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Date:2009-01-05 16:52
Subject:trashy content inside

FOOLED YOU! This is a post about Gmail (hopefully an entertaining one).

When Gmail rolled out its new themes several weeks ago, I picked one and also changed my language to German, because I particularly enjoy reading websites in German. However, I took German for exactly one semester in college and have no vocabulary whatsoever and only a very rudimentary understanding of the language, so it involves a lot of guesswork. "Which one is discard and which is send? FUCK!" Needless to say, I changed it back to English after about a week or so. Maybe two, I think I tried to persevere a little too long (immersion will help, I thought! but no).

So I'm deleting some messages from my Inbox and I notice that the little message at the top tells me that they have been moved to the Bin. I think, holy crap, Gmail must be changing their branding of "Trash" to "Bin"! How cute. I wonder what the theory behind that was. So I tell Jesse about it, and he says his doesn't say it. I surmise that they must be rolling it out and haven't gotten to him yet.

And then I remember that when I changed my settings from German to English, I decided to be obtuse for no reason, as per pretty much always, and I chose "British English" instead of "American English." To date, I hadn't noticed any differences. Totally ignored the "Bin" thing until just now. Yep.

Hooray, that's my story!

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Date:2008-12-09 09:47
Subject:damn you, Pepperidge Farm cookie commercials
Mood: loud

Every night that we've watched television for the past week or so, the same commercial has come on several times, sending us not-so-subtle messages about how we should eat Pepperidge Farm cookies, which are apparently hand-crafted in the Italian tradition (if you want people to know that, PF, then why didn't you call them Peppereggios or something?). I figure it's a ploy to get people to pick up the "Entertaining" collection for their holiday parties. I mean, if you buy the cookies that say they're for entertaining, your guests are sure to be entertained!

Some people in my household are more susceptible to this advertising than others, and if you think stereotypes about women and chocolate hold true, you might be surprised to find out that it's my husband. Then again, if you're reading this and you also know my diabetic ex-boyfriend, you may know that he was completely under the spell of the Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano (TM, I'm sure). I suppose it could be good to eat cookies directly following an insulin injection, just to make sure your blood sugar doesn't get too low... right.

Anyway, the television was telling us to eat cookies late last night, but we didn't have any. I decided I wanted to bake something, but we didn't have any eggs, and we generally do a terrible job of keeping other kitchen staples around, so we can never make anything we want to when we want to. So I said, hm, let's look at vegan and eggless cookie recipes. Nope, still missing some key ingredients. Holy shit, SHORTBREAD. Shortbread is like pastry dough with a lot of sugar in it, and I'm great at making pastry dough, and we still have tons of butter and flour left over from my Thanksgiving pies and quiche. So I found a recipe for peanut butter shortbread, which sounded even better than regular shortbread, and spent a good 90 minutes preparing and then baking it. We didn't cool it long enough before eating some, so it was extra crumbly, but still delicious. Then after a whole night in the fridge, I enjoyed some for breakfast. YUM.

If you'd like to try your hand at it, all you need is 2 sticks of unsalted butter (hey, it makes up to 16 pieces, so you're really only eating a serving of butter per piece), a tiny bit of salt, 2 cups of flour, and 3/4 cup of peanut butter.

Here's the recipe I used: http://www.cakespy.com/2008/11/peanutty-buddies-chocolate-peanut.html
They apparently tried it with chocolate flavored peanut butter, which also sounds awesome.

In completely unrelated news, I am wearing the loudest color combination of printed blouse and printed sweater vest today and I feel like I look super cool and sophisticated but I probably just look like a kid playing dress-up, as per usual.

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Date:2008-12-05 11:11
Subject:oh, cappuccino.

I played cello for 75 minutes this morning at an 8am event at a university that is not the one I work at (or attend, starting in a month). I walked to work after that and got some Illy coffee. I stupidly asked for a "tall cappuccino," which led to a tsk tsk and raising of the eyebrows from the weird-looking guy serving me, I think he was one of the managers. I immediately backpedaled and said SMALL, SMALL, you know I mean small! Ha. To think, I used to refuse to use Starbucks terminology, but now it's ingrained or something. Thjose fjuckers. (that's Njorwjegian in case you're wondering)

He said it would've been okay if I'd specified two shots, three shots, or four shots (!!!) and I said, "Oh, that's why Illy's so much better than Starbucks -- they put two shots in all their small drinks, whereas Starbucks only uses one. I used to work for barnesandnobleservingstarbuckscoffee ten years ago and they actually instructed us to THROW AWAY THE EXTRA SHOT." True story. Maybe if you were making two small drinks at the same time, you could use one in each because then it would still be fresh enough. The standards weren't as exacting at barnesandnobleservingstarbuckscoffee back in the day when it wasn't a completely separate Starbucks entity like it seems to be now. We didn't even serve macchiatos or anything more complicated than "regular" espresso drinks (latte, cappuccino, mocha) and Frappuccinos, which were brand new and all the fucking rage. People would get so pissed when they brought in Starbucks coupons cut out of the newspaper and weren't able to redeem them for drinks we couldn't make.

What is the point of all this? I just drank the better part of my SMALL cappuccino with two shots by default and now I am even more tired than I was before. Make this day be over please. Thank you. I'm typing with my head leaned back and my eyes closed. Any typos? None so far. Shit, now it seems extra bright in here. Devolving into this kind of nonsense usually ensures that an entry will get zero responses. Tsk tsk!

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Date:2008-11-25 10:29
Subject:and now for something completely different

Just kidding, more pointless rambling and updates about my life! I suppose it's been over a month, eh? Fancy that.

So what's been going on? I got a two-week-long cold that sucked and is totally going around DC and other environs, then Jesse got it. Poor us. We're pretty much better now, which is great because the ability to taste food is very important around this time of year.

I was jazzed about the election even though that was in the middle of my sickness. Despite my sore throat, we opened the huge windows to our apartment around 11:30pm and a bunch of friends and I yelled "OBAMAAAAAAAA!" at cars and pedestrians passing by for about an hour straight, and cars were honking and everybody was whooping it up, as they should, since 95% of our city voted for the guy who won, the intelligent, inspiring, charismatic young guy about whom I absolutely refuse to be jaded or cautious, because I need that kind of unbridled passion in my life. It was one of the best feelings I've had in a long time. I think I'm wearing the shirt I had on that day for the first time since, actually. It's bright blue, as were the blond streaks in my hair at the time of the election.

The word "unbridled" always reminds me of romance novels with a chick and a shirtless Fabio type riding on a horse. A horse is really just a shirtless Fabio type itself when you think about it, all long hair and muscles. Anyway.

I got the job I'd been waiting for, still working at the University in the same division but a different department, having more autonomy and taking more responsibility for the websites I manage, with a huge pay bump. The huge pay bump enables us to qualify for a whole lot of house, it seems, and we've been house hunting. Of course we don't want to go up to what the bank considers our limit, but it's kind of cool to be able to seriously look at places we thought were slightly out of our range before I got the raise. Okay, so I don't REALLY get the raise until December 15, and a meteor could still strike DC before then, although then it'd probably be better if I didn't own a home anyway.

To continue cursing myself on the home front by talking about our search, we put in an offer on a foreclosure that otherwise would've been SERIOUSLY out of our range. There are three other offers and ours is probably teh suck compared to people who don't want a home inspection or have more cash to put down, but our credit is excellent and we're flexible on settlement date, so maybe that will work to our advantage. I dunno. It's a huge house and I'm sort of scared. Moving from 683 sq. ft. to 2500 is absolutely nuts. The dang house is gonna be empty except for a bed, a desk, a couch, some dressers and shelves, and a shit ton of musical instruments. Good thing we have an upright bass, it looks pretty imposing.


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Date:2008-10-21 12:17
Subject:not dead yet

Got into grad school... word. Immediately had to pony up 300 bucks. Need to familiarize myself with tuition remission forms pronto! Hoping my advisor will contact me soon to discuss whether or not I need the prereqs.

In other news, the Greek guy I go to for watchbands and batteries and such is so fantastic. First, he's great at what he does, definitely has a passion for and deep understanding of watch and clock mechanisms of all kinds. Plus he showers me with compliments every time I'm in there, talking about how lucky my husband is and how our children are going to be knockouts, at least if they're girls. It's not too creepy because he's married and talks about his kids a lot too, and his wife's constant renovation of their condo, plus I'm setting a double standard because he's not a gross creepy mustachioed Greek guy, he's an oldish wiry fair-haired beardo with those cute little bifocals that one wears when one's profession involves staring at things close up. And he's not too sycophantic either, as the first time I came in he said I would look better with darker hair. Or lighter hair. I'm not sure. Shit.

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Date:2008-09-15 12:32
Subject:and other reasons I am a huge dork

We were watching Jeopardy at the beach and one of the clues they gave was incorrect. They said "In this activity, 'a' is made with the left pinky, and 'j', the right pinky." There was kind of a dumb guy in the middle (how did he get on Jeopardy? jesus) who answered, "What is sign language," which admittedly was the first thing I thought of as well even though it doesn't make sense. The correct answer, which nobody got, was "What is typing." Uh, duh, "j" is made with the right pointer finger, not pinky. I didn't need to look at a keyboard to know that. How are we supposed to win Jeopardy if the clues are wrong? How can the children learn to read if they can't even fit in the building?

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Date:2008-09-15 11:19
Subject:my mother knows me too well

She told me to sit down before telling me yesterday upon my return from the beach that David Foster Wallace hanged himself. I didn't sit down but I did run to her kitchen and sob for several minutes, which is strange because the only other people in the living room were her and my husband and you'd think I could've cried in front of them. Jeez. I'm a sap and a doof, among other things.

Good and probably relevant reading on manic-depressive illness I mean bipolar disorder: An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison, a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins who has been studying as well as suffering from this disorder for years and years.

I guess I'm not using a lot of commas in honor of DFW or something. Anyway. Man. Working now, not thinking about this very much.

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Date:2008-08-21 15:48

Ah, 5 years ago. Thanks to me searching old LJ entries and to vivisectasch for his stroke of genius.

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Date:2008-08-15 12:34
Subject:obligatory olympics post

Nerd alert: I hate that they're playing the National Anthem in G. It is not in G. It is in either A flat or B flat (see? I'm flexible) and absolutely no other key, ever. Thank you.

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