31 December 2005

So long 2005!

Happy New Year!


27 December 2005

Daily show reruns = other fake news

Christmas Theft in Nashville: The 'Nun Bun' Is Missing

Tuesday, December 27, 2005; A07

NASHVILLE, Dec. 26 -- Nashville police and residents were searching Monday for clues to the Christmas Day theft of a cinnamon bun that found unlikely fame for its resemblance to the late Mother Teresa's face.

The bun has been a draw for curious tourists since it was preserved and put on display in a glass case at the shop where it was discovered by a customer in 1996.

"What I can't figure out is why anyone would steal it," said the shop's owner, Bob Bernstein. "They can't sell it on eBay, it's not fit to eat, there was no ransom note, and the police put its value at only $25 on their report."

Bernstein said the thief broke into the coffeehouse at 6 a.m. Sunday and smashed the glass case containing the bun, ignoring cash nearby.

Before her death in 1997, Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Teresa wrote to Bernstein asking that her name not be used commercially. The pastry became known simply as the "Nun Bun."


22 December 2005

Happy Holidays!

Ok, I'm recovered!


I still can't talk, and I have a cold. But it's far better than strep, which seems to now be circulating among the kids who were on the trip. What fun!

In any case... a few weeks ago I posted about how my Christmas shopping was almost done -- a fairly optimistic view. Unfortunately, it was about as accurate as the intelligence that Bush cited on the presence of WMDs. This year.. like every year... I managed to forget a few key things to people's presents, and remembered now, three days before the big day. Ok, two. We do our presents on Christmas eve. So, like everyone else who leaves things to the last minute, I got into the car (Lawnmower drove... sucker.) and headed to the mall.

Interestingly, before we'd gone even fifty feet into the mall, Lawnmower and I managed to run into a bunch of people we knew. One of them (this is actually kinda sad) was my brother, who I hadn't yet seen since he flew in Tuesday night. At least we weren't alone. However, aside from these cool people (cool = not afraid to establish direct eye contact), people were jerks. Evidently the Holiday Spirit takes a back seat during the holiday rush for that last Polly Prissy Pants Doll who laughs and sleeps and cries and shits herself is on the line.

On the bright side, I got a chuckle at Border's when the woman behind me got onto her cell phone and asked her friend if her kids had seen that new movie "Narina"...

I love the holidays.


18 December 2005

Adventures at Cassels

I'm tired.

The highlights/things I learned...

  • Rush hour + freezing rain + road rage = 3 x normal commute time

  • There's nothing that will make you go 'Ew' looking down at your swimmers during warmups, giving them a heart-to-heart peptalk, and then noticing that the water around one of them is a little... yellow.

  • Nothing can produce a look of horror on a preteen girl's face quite like the words: 'we're coming to collect your cell phones.'

  • Team-spirit-oriented cheers are a great way to psych up a group of kids. They're a lot of fun. The kids start them on their own. Often. By day two, it's enough to leave you wishing for your aneurysm to burst so you can end the pain.

  • The Teach doesn't verbalize well in the morning. I actually knew this before. What I did think was funny was how she signed to me to signal she wanted to sleep an additional fifteen minutes when I tried to wake her up.

  • Men who wear ties and button down shirts with Khakhi shorts should not be allowed out of the house.

  • Half-dozen should never be allowed to tie Scribble's ties. No, this is not a euphamism.

  • There are twelve-year-old kids out there who have a better, more detailed goals than I do.

  • Everyone loves Winnie the Pooh.

  • Kids will cry because making Finals for a fast swim means they won't get to leave the pool for dinner at the Buffet (pronounce the T)

  • No matter how quiet a kid looks.... they can be ridiculously loud.

  • I've finally perfected my 'Mommy' voice (whatever that is).

  • Upon perfecting said Mommy voice, I promptly lost it. Hopefully I'll be able to speak above a whisper in a few days.

I really enjoyed my travel meet experience, despite the fact that I've been on my feet all weekend, did less studying than I should have (and am still putting it off) and really need to get some ice on my back. The kids did great, and we're tired. Sleeping = good.


17 December 2005

Just a few weeks until... 1006?

What a poor sense of timing...

Priest, Lay Board At St. Louis Church Excommunicated

Archbishop Demands Control of Catholic Parish's Assets, Propert

from the Washington Post

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 16 -- St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke has excommunicated a priest and the board of directors of a traditionally Polish parish that resisted his efforts to put the parish's property and assets under his control.

In an archdiocesan newspaper published Friday, Burke said the Rev. Marek Bozek and St. Stanislaus Kostka's six lay directors committed an act of schism when the board hired Bozek, who Burke said left another diocese without his bishop's permission.

"It saddens me, in particular, to address such a deep wound to the church in our archdiocese in these days of our final preparation for the celebration of the birth of our Lord on Christmas," Burke wrote.

He said it was necessary, however, because Bozek planned to celebrate Christmas Eve Mass. Mass has not been celebrated since Easter at the parish, which saw its priests removed last year.

Excommunication, the most severe penalty the church can impose, excludes the seven from taking part in church sacraments and functions and from holding positions within the church. Burke said it would be a mortal sin to accept Holy Communion or other sacraments from Bozek, and that the parish was no longer part of the church.

Unlike most other Roman Catholic parishes around the country, St. Stanislaus Kostka's board -- not the archbishop -- has governed the parish's finances, according to an arrangement dating to the late 19th century.

Since Burke began serving as archbishop in January 2004, he had increased pressure on the parish to conform to current church structure and hand over control of its assets.

St. Stanislaus's lay leaders refused, accusing Burke of wanting the parish's assets, estimated at more than $9 million.

The Vatican has backed Burke.

Roger Krasnicki, spokesman for the St. Stanislaus board, said avenues of appeal are available but had in the past proved to be "an exercise in futility."

"I think it's a gross error of judgment on his part," Krasnicki said of Burke's decision. "It's a sad day in the Catholic Church."

He said Bozek was traveling in Peru, and the priest's cellular phone was not accepting calls Friday. Until recently, Bozek was associate pastor of St. Agnes Cathedral in Springfield, Mo.

Krasnicki said St. Stanislaus, which has about 450 parishioners, still plans to hold Christmas Eve Mass.


14 December 2005

Setting out..

This weekend, Scribbles is taking Half Dozen, the Teach, and I to coach a travel swim meet in Virginia. I was looking forward to it as a chance to see the University's facility -- it's supposed to be amazing -- and also as a chance to coach kids I might not normally see, and meet people on the deck. The plan is for me and the Teach to take the second bus... forty children and a few parents... down tomorrow evening, which means I'll pack up the car and head from class. So far we've been extremely organized -- team Mom has got all the info together, handed it to us today; we've talked, planned; we're excited, we like hanging out with kids. So all's good, right?

Before a big meet, swimmers generally taper. That means they cut back their yardage, do a lot of drill work and easier sets, to get their body rested for the few days before the meet. That also means that kids who are normally dragging themselves home at the end of the night are no longer tired after practice. That means... they are bouncing off the walls with extra energy.

Forecasters this fall predicted that a harsh hurricane season would mean a nasty winter. "Ha!" I thought, "I laugh at winter!" Winter may laugh back, because a 'wintry mix' is predicted for a few hours before we leave. This could yeild several potential results:
1) The kids want to get out of school early (and just might, given the county's record), thus prolonging their already extended weekend.
2) Traffic driving through Northern VA will be a nightmare. Even if it's just rain.
3) Traffic driving from my class will be a nightmare. Even if it's just rain.

So basically, the Teach and I are going to spend Thursday evening transporting a bunch of 9-12 year olds an hour away from their parents, in a snow storm, after a week or so that they had to build up all kinds of extra energy. Oh, and I have been titled the 'food nazi' for the weekend and am one of the few powers separating them from fried foods, soda, and desserts when we take them to health-conscious places such as... oh.... The Old Country Buffet.

It should at least be entertaining. I'll post about it on my return, assuming the twitch doesn't get in the way of things.


13 December 2005

Playing hooky

So, I totally blew off class today.

Well, not totally. It was more like I realized by the time I got there and parked, class would be over. So I stayed home and got some studying done. It wasn't a total waste.

On the bright side, I got to have lunch with Lawnmower. There's this great Afghan (Afghani?)-ish restaurant a few blocks away, so I headed over there and picked up food. It was the first time I'd actually been there, we usually get takeout, and it was pretty busy. They packed a bunch of tables into this tiny room, which makes navigating a little hard. When I got in line behind this older couple, I ended up being in the woman's way while she was trying to fill her drinks from the soda fountain. I really could have moved, if her husband had followed her, but he just kinda stood there while she shuffled past me:

Her: "Oh excuse me."

Me: "No, my fault. Go ahead."

Her: "Excuse me dear."

Me: "It's ok."

Her: "Oh I'm so clumsy. You must be so embarrassed."

Me: "Riigggght."



07 December 2005

What disease are you?

I am Plague. Got Me?
Which Horrible Affliction are you?
A Rum and Monkey disease.


02 December 2005

Why I love Alton Brown

Got this link, Tome Cruise is Nuts from Here I Am the other day. On it, was this letter to Tom Cruise...:

"Dear Tom Cruise,
Your lack of belief in the existence of clinical depression tells me one thing: you didn’t spend $10. to see War Of The Worlds. If vitamins can possibly help me out of this spiraling funk, please let me know which ones. Dinos? Pebbles? Freds? Please, I’m crying out for help."
- Alton Brown, Food Network host of Good Eats and Iron Chef America


Good day

Today was a good day. I worked hard at swimming, gave a talk, and got the chance to have dinner with some people I haven't seen in a very long time. It's amazing the 'blast from the past' you can get, when that happens. I really felt it last weekend at the Sailor's going away party -- everyone left the party and went down to the bar, then hit Friday's for our usual shenanigans. People I worked with all through high school were there. It was like a high school reunion, only cooler because you know you like everyone who's going to show up. And it really gave me the opportunity to look back on some excellent memories -- and it really helped me to appreciate all the good things I've picked up, and all the lessons I learned with these people along the way.


29 November 2005

"Aw, I made myself sad..."

Firefox crashed after I wrote a whole big long post. :(

Ah well.

Maybe I'll re-write it tomorrow.

Bonus points to anyone who knows who said the quote in the title of this post!!!


28 November 2005

Finished! Phase I

Until today I was way behind the game. This time last year I'd pretty much finished my shopping, and did it all online. Go me! Not this year. This year, I really had to motivate myself. I tried to plan, and budget, make a list (Excel online templates=awesome) and so on, but my heart just wasn't in it. So I made myself go to the mall this afternoon when I found I had some free time.

I see you're cringing. If not, you should be. The mall post-Thanksgiving has traditionally been a nightmare. Lawnmower tried to go over the weekend and said it was mobbed. Children run around the mall spreading flue germs and headaches and the line for Santa is way too long. People are mean. I learned early to avoid it. Hence I steeled myself for a horrible experience.

Actually, I was there between three and six-ish and it wasn't too bad. No lines, no crowds.. Thank god for online shopping, I guess. I even got stuff I wanted, and didn't cause my credit card to spontaneously combust.

So now, all I have to do is... Phase II. I need some wrapping paper.


You suck the best.

Don't get all excited about that title, kids.

Today, I was watching TV when the Dyson vacuum cleaner commercial came up, and it reminded me of a conversation I had after watching it. Here's the gist of it...

Me: "Do you realize this guy has spent the last decade of his life figuring out how to make things suck better?"

Boyfriend: "Yes. And now he's worth millions."

Me: "How true."

So kudos to you, Mr Dyson man, well done.


24 November 2005

Happy Turkey Day!!

Click the Picture, and enjoy the holiday!


21 November 2005

Pathology, Round II

Well, we just had the second exam, and I'm tired. I studied hard, but not as well as I could have, and I didn't think it was a good sign to start when a classmate of mine walked in with a funny look on his face.

Me: "Hey, you ok?"

Him: "I just saw [The Mumbler] by the elevators, going down, and he asked what I was doing here."

Me: "Huh?"

Him: "Well, I told him I was here for the exam."

Me: "Is it not today? It's totally today."

Him: "No it is. He said it was at one o'clock."

Me: "Did you tell him his email said twelve?"

Him: "Yeah. He said he'd be right back."

The email to which I'm referring is one that the Mumbler sent out Friday night. After two days of messages, emails, and attempted visits by Alias, she finally managed to corner him at a party on Friday and remind him that we were still missing some information. You know, like where the exam was... when it was... that sort of thing. Nothing important. He was kind enough to send out the information then, along with a notice that all his questions would be taken from the book. Including the second half of the class, which he didn't teach, that was taught by a guy who told us all the questions would be from the notes, and we didn't have to worry about the details.

So, I spent all weekend worrying about the details.

Now I'm just tired. But I'm glad it's done. No more bullshit exams from this guy, he's only writing the histology part of the final -- and since we've all (literally) failed those sections in the last two exams, I'm not too stressed about that.


20 November 2005


Dating + Politics = scary.

At least, it's not photogenic.


Taking five

There are approximately nine hundred thousand words in the English language. To put this in perspective, Spanish is estimated to have 450,000 words, and French has approximately 100,000. But who cares about the French.

So why do people continuously make up words? Dr. Language has an interesting point of view on estimating the number of words we use, and why that number is so diffucult. We certainly have many ways to express ourselves, whether anyone cares or not. I've noticed, though, that advertising seems to feel we need more, and hence we've got a few words that just annoy me. For example:

Essuvee -- the clever phrase automobile manufacturers used when they decided to advise drivers on the special safety considerations of their vehicles. Rather than say 'this car can roll and kill you' they transform it into a cuddly little animation and teach you about driving a top-heavy gas-guzzling suburban that will, for ninety-eight percent of its owners, never get more off-road than a gravel parking lot.

'Gellin'' -- Ok, so that's not a 'new' word, but it's a new use. And there are only so many words that rhyme with this, and only so many times I can tolerate that commercial.

Smellovision -- one particular chef on the food network started using thise phrase, and now uses the same clever remark in every frickin' episode. And people laugh. It got old a while ago.

Comcastic -- whoever thought of that should just be shot.

But, I guess they do their job.

Back to studying for me -- round two with Pathology tomorrow.


17 November 2005

Yeah, I know...

So, I've been trying to refrain from posting about Lost (which is awesome) since that first one, but something's been bothering me and I'm hoping other viewers might be able to come up with a more creative idea. Here's the question:

Why does Goodwin have shoes?

Every time I've 'seen' the Others (I missed the first season,so maybe this generalization doesn't hold up) they don't have shoes on. In fact, I think it was Ecco (sp?) that says he can't track them because they don't leave footprints. BUT, from what I can tell of the taped episode last night, he's got 'em on.

Is he the only Other with shoes?

Did they take them off -after- the plane crash to avoid detection?

Why is this bugging me so much? :P


In need of a map....

Well, I had a nice long chat with my old Program Coordinator today, who currently heads the newer, revamped program in the graduate school. It was really good to speak with her, and she gave me some really good and honest feedback about my situation.

I guess I haven't really posted much about it here, and you all haven't had the benefit(?) of seeing me over my bad-day-bourbons, but the last year has been a little difficult because I've slowly been coming to the realization that I don't want to do this (research) for the rest of my life and I'm beginning to get impatient with working so hard for a degree I don't really need.

She helped put it in perspective some, though I think she gave me far more credit that I deserve. I'm going to stick it out for now, and at the same time try to pick up a couple temporary part time jobs to try and get a better feel for what I want to be doing -- something I probably should have done before getting into grad school anyway. I might be able to land one at a PT office, and there's a couple other things I want to try and do. So we'll see how it all goes. I know no job is perfect, but I'm hoping it's not too much to want to find something I can get really excited about doing...



Criticism of Voting Law Was Overruled
Justice Dept. Backed Georgia Measure Despite Fears of Discrimination

A team of Justice Department lawyers and analysts who reviewed a Georgia voter-identification law recommended rejecting it because it was likely to discriminate against black voters, but they were overruled the next day by higher-ranking officials at Justice, according to department documents.

The Justice Department has characterized the "pre-clearance" of the controversial Georgia voter-identification program as a joint decision by career and political appointees in the Civil Rights Division. Republican proponents in Georgia have cited federal approval of the program as evidence that it would not discriminate against African Americans and other minorities.

Yup. Cause the Federal government has never endorsed any such practice that might limit or restrict the voting abilities of certain groups in this country.

But an Aug. 25 staff memo obtained by The Washington Post recommended blocking the program because Georgia failed to show that the measure would not dilute the votes of minority residents, as required under the Voting Rights Act.

The memo, endorsed by four of the team's five members, also said the state had provided flawed and incomplete data. The team found significant evidence that the plan would be "retrogressive," meaning that it would reduce blacks' access to the polls.

A day later, on Aug. 26, the chief of the department's voting rights section, John Tanner, told Georgia officials that the program could go forward. "The Attorney General does not interpose any objection to the specified changes," he said in a letter to them....
Read more

The article cites the measures as a way to counter voter fraud, but the sources cited in the article present conflicting information as to whether or not the required IDs are carried equally by all groups of constituents. If not, should part of the measure be to ensure that everyone has the proper card? Will a person that hasn't gone to the MVA to get a license shell out twenty bucks for a special ID so they can vote? Twenty bucks can be a lot of money depending on your situation.

The article also states: "According to the Aug. 25 memo from the Justice review team, Georgia lawmakers and state officials made little effort to research the possible racial impact of the proposed program." In addition, the US census bureau reportedly states that in Georgia minorities are less likely than whites to have the required identification; however, Assistant Attorney General William E. Moschella defended approval with the assertion "that the state's African-American citizens are, if anything, slightly more likely than white citizens to possess one of the necessary forms of identification."

Is it just me, or do you think the current administration is just using these lame duck years to see just how badly they can piss people off?

State Rep. Tyrone L. Brooks Sr., a Democrat and president of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, said he was not surprised by the Justice Department's position in the case.

"Some of my colleagues told me early on that, because of politics in the Bush administration, no matter what the staff recommendation was, this would be approved by the attorney general," Brooks said. "It's disappointing that the staff recommendation was not accepted, because that has been the norm since 1965."


15 November 2005

Silly personality tests


11 November 2005

Thought of the Day

Does anyone else find it sad that there's a generation growing up on the 'music' of people like Kevin Federline and Ashlee Simpson?


10 November 2005

South Park's Political influence

Talk about selective use of examples. I came across this on someone's blog, they used it to describe themselves.

It might just be me, but I'm not sure this is what Trey Parker and Matt Stone had in mind.


Moment of zen, part deux.

So tired. Just enjoy the pretty picture.


08 November 2005



Old Theme Songs and Shitty Relatives

Today I skipped swimming and headed over to finish some painting that needed to be done. I was about halfway done tha bathroom, trying to keep myself entertained, when I got a song stuck in my head. The theme song to Green Acres. How random is that?

After I was done, I headed up to the Exxon to get some cash for parking. While I was at the ATM, I heard this guy telling a cashier a story -- I missed whether he just heard it, or if it was someone he knew that was involved with this. In any case, the tale was about this woman who went to the convenience store to pick up some things for her mother-in-law, and used her mother-in-law's credit card to make the purchase. Included in that purchase was a winning lottery ticket for some insane amount, which the woman claimed.

The mother-in-law reported the card as stolen and the charge fraudulent, thinking she would receive all the money. The result? No one got the money. How awkward would family gatherings be after that?


06 November 2005


Going out to a bar with your friends is usually a pretty enjoyable time. You all meet up, eat some food, get a little (or a lot) tipsy, and everything is great. Ninety-nine percent of the time, you enjoy hanging out with these people, and consider them friends/buddies/groupies/whatever fits your situation. You like them.

But also, deep down inside, you want to see them cry.

Doubt me? Consider the range of drinks that have evolved for the discomfort of those who take them, and the humor/disgust of those who watch:

1) The Stuntman -- the Teach witnessed this little jewel the other night when she was out with some friends. It's basically a tequila shot, where you snort the salt, take the shot, and then squeeze the lime in your eye. There were guys in her group who wanted to take that shot more than once.

2) The greasy Mexican -- tequila and mayonnaise. When saying 'I hate you please don't hang out with me anymore' just isn't enough. Lote actually consumed one of these once. No one knew what the hell he was thinking.

3) The cement mixer -- Irish cream and Rose's lime juice; combine in mouth, shake head to mix, and enjoy the change in texture as the Bailey's curdles. Mmmmm. A similar drink, curdled in the shot glass and then taken, is known as a 'Writhing Maggot'

4) Buffalo sweat -- 1 part tabasco + 1 part 151 + the crap that gets squeezed out of the bar rag. Hopefully your tastebuds (and all the germs) will die from the first two.

5) Anything involving Red Bull. Nasty! What the hell are you people thinking?

While none of these are quite as heinous as the ones Sideshow managed to come up with during one of his early Hump Day Reports. they're sure to make at least one person in your party blow chunks. So remember, whether you're planning for next weekend or for the holidays, invite at least one person you don't like (or can get drunk enough to actually take one of the above drinks), and sit back at watch the fun. Just watch out for the couch.


05 November 2005

A pain in the neck

I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but I work several jobs, the first of course being my graduate studies (so they're called). In addition, I still work for the company I've worked for since I was fifteen, teaching lifeguarding, doing lifeguarding, etc. And I coach swimming.

A few days ago, Scribbles asked me to go to a meet session to warm up his kids, at 6:30 in the morning. Yeah, I didn't know there was one of those either. But I haven't really worked many meets this year and I needed the money so I said sure no problem. I showed up, the kids warmed up (they were actually last warmups, so we could have slept in, but it was no big deal) and when Scribbles showed up I left. I felt so good! The sun was out and shining, it was a nice day, I could get stuff done, I was awake.

So obviously I went back home and slept another four hours. It was pretty wierd -- I kept waking up when I heard my roommates moving around the house, or people outside, and then I'd go right back to sleep. And I kept having this dizzy sensation just before I'd drop off to sleep. At the time I thought I was just tired.

In retrospect, it was probably the fact that an awkward body position was cutting off the blood supply to my brain. I woke up with a pulled muscle. And I wasn't even doing anything productive, like laying laminate flooring.

Now, this has happened before, though this time isn't nearly as bad. In fact, in June I did the very same thing and slept in a wierd position, and woke up with the most horrible pain I've ever felt. From sleeping. I spent most of the day curled up in the fetal position, wrapped in a blanket because it hurt so much I was sick. I couldn't even play with Meaty. And I have a pretty ok pain tolerance. When the end of the day rolled around, the Teach took one look at me and said: "You're still in pain? Clearly you need to drink."

So Scribbles came and picked us up, and we went out and got blasted, which actually worked. It was the only reason I made it to sleep. It was a lot of fun though, especially when I got to that point where my brain was telling me things hurt, but I wasn't really feeling it.

I finally went to the doctor when, two days into working, I couldn't sit straight in a chair, which led to one of those priceless conversations I can only have at a clinic in the city, where the doctor made the diagnosis and I asked for drugs. Ironically by the time I got the Super-motrin the pain was better.

Hopefully the ice I've got on my back will be sufficient this go-round.


04 November 2005

My Day....

Only without the subtitles.

(click on the comic)


03 November 2005


Man, I never see commercials like this when I watch TV.


02 November 2005

Graded on a scale of A to what?

Got the Pathology test back today - you remember, the one where the first essay question was 'What is the meaning of life and death'? Yeah, this class is getting kind of old.

Last week we asked about them, and the Mumbler told us he had good news and bad news. After about five minutes of us trying to tell him we wanted the bad news first, he finally got around to saying they hadn't been graded. The good news? That we passed. Ok? Cool? Enter this week.

The test was actually two tests, because half the material was taught by one guy, and half by another. So it was sitting for two different exams. On the second part, I got an actual number score, and a letter grade. What you'd expect.

Apparently the two didn't communicate.

The Mumbler told us he didn't give us grades. He made comments, checks and Xs, and took off "1/4" or "1/2". However, he didn't say what he was taking one fourth or one half from. No concept of what each question was worth, or what the difference was between Very Good, Good, and Ok. No point totals. No letter grade. He didn't make any marks to say a right or wrong answer on a page with pictures of histology slides that we were supposed to identify. When we asked him, he told us that 'he had a grade set for us in his head.' And, here's the kicker, the end of the course would be an opportunity for us to see if the grade we think we deserve matches the grade he thinks we should get.

Now I ask you.


On the up side, the presentation went good. Ironically, he criticised my lack of pointer, and told me I shouldn't turn my head toward the screen while I was talking. Good advice, but hard to take from a guy who spends most of the lecture talking as coherently as a drunk at a bar.


Real American Heros

This is an awesome post from PlatKat.com that I saw a few weeks back and meant to link up here. Enjoy!

Today I want to show my appreciation for a grossly underrepresented portion of the blogging population: Ostentatious Female Sex Bloggers.

Man, there just aren't enough of those! I'm sure all those people who don't blog about sex everytime they have it, wish they'd had it, or plan to have it probably aren't having sex in real life at all. Those losers aren't nearly as exciting and adventurous as you gals.

What better way to show how out-of-control but extra-insightful you are than to talk about a subject that is so extremely taboo in today's society? And since you're so outspoken and uncensored, the best way to show it is to write about sex as much as you can! How will the rest of the world know that you're free-spirited and willing to try anything if they can't read about your sexual escapades on your blog every day?

Usually, everyone is so shy on their blogs. They might talk about the weather, or maybe their 17 cats. Some people even blog about boring stuff like politics and finance–who cares about those?! There are also humor and newswatch blogs... That stuff is okay, but it's really not the edgy material most people are looking for when they need to feel validated despite their vacuous lifestyles. Where else could the few, proud sex enthusiasts find a forum to make cutesy, sycophantic comments for you to answer in a sexually suggestive way?

Luckily, the world has you, Ostentatious Female Sex Blogger. It's obvious that you can handle a lot more than a keyboard and mouse, if you know what I mean! You've been out living the fast life for years and you definitely show no signs of slowing down!

With all the humility and chastity flooding the internet these days, it's so refreshing to find bloggers who "keep it real." In this age of talk shows, reality TV, and tell-all interviews and books, it's so hard to find a woman who really wants to come out of her shell and honestly talk about the S-word.

Speaking of S's, I must say to the younger generation of Ostentatious Female Sex Bloggers, using the letter "z" instead of "s" to make nouns plural and purposely mispelling simple words like "love" really capture the essence of your truly unique and "street" personality. Anyone can follow those constricting rules of spelling and grammar that have kept our language from becoming a series of grunts we utter at one another when we're hungry. But you're original! You spell words your way because you're unique and cool!

Anyway, I'm just so glad the world has this captivating group of women who like to write all about their one-night stands and casual flings. They obviously take great pride in their accomplishments and really care about contributing to the greater good. And let's not forget, anyone can just have sex, or write about sex, or whatever, but these are Ostentatious Female Sex Bloggers, and they write about sex intelligently.

So everyone, support your favorite Ostentatious Female Sex Blogger. Let her know that you respect her choice to bang four dudes in one night and that you appreciate her candid synopsis of the event! If you don't give her kudos on her forward thinking to justify her deliciously salacious acts, she just might stop committing them. Then what will you do during your next dry spell? Read a porno mag? Of course not! That's dirty!

Happy Wednesday everyone, halfway through the week!


01 November 2005

Happy Halloween!

Yeah, so I'm a day late. Life got away from me a little bit this weekend.

This holiday was pretty quiet for me. We went out over the weekend, but last night the Teach stayed home to give out candy while me and Evee went and helped teach a guard class with Scoot, Serp, and the Sailor. The class was ok -- small, and there's definitely one or two kids that don't seemt to care. Maybe the rule about test out* will still apply this year. On the way out of class, Evee experienced a drive-by egging, though they pretty much missed her and her car and hit Scoot's instead. They threw like a bunch of girls. (Actually... it was a car full of girls. Stupid bitches.)

Saturday we went to a wedding for a girl I've known for a good ten years. It's going to be wierd to call her by her new name, but the wedding was fun, and the reception dinner was excellent. Unfortunately, Sideshow and I hit an Uno's during the three-hour gap between wedding and reception, and the greasy food had one of us feeling pretty poor. After the wedding, we went into DC to visit Sideshow's sister (nickname pending for when I'm more creative), and then eventually headed home to get some rest before working on his place the next day.

Long weekend.

Plans for a Ladies' Night are starting to go into effect, maybe at some point I'll have some details and photos to throw up here.

*when I started, the 'rule' was that if an instructor gave a student a bloody nose (ie, caught the guard not doing something like protecting their face in a rear rescue) the Sailor would buy them a sixpack. I've never actually seen this put into effect.


28 October 2005

Livin' the Dream

When I was a little kid, I couldn't wait to grow up.

My parents gave me a lot of freedom in high school (miraculously, it didn't end with me getting arrested), but I was still ready to get out on my own for college. After the first year, I was done with living in a dorm with five hundred other people and sharing a bathroom with fifty, and ready for my own place. In May of this year, I finally moved out into a house with two of my friends.

Yup, livin' the glamorous single life.

I got my job, I go to the gym, I mow my lawn, we throw parties. Exceptionally glamorous. I fully realized this when I went grocery shopping the other day. My last year in college I took an anthropology/archaeology class, and one of the activities we did was looking through bags of 'trash' (rinsed out cans, bottles, wrappers, etc that my professor had collected) to try and make guesses about the culture of the people who'd generated the trash. Another drill was emptying our pockets onto our desks and going through them, saying how the contents describe us (try it and leave your comment below. I need some entertainment) I decided to play this game with my grocery bag.

Hot dogs, chocolate, and Bloody Mary mix.

I stopped there.

Yup, that's me. Livin' the glamorous life.


23 October 2005


I was entertained.

But then, I guess it doesn't really take much.


The stupidest thing I have ever heard.... today.

This morning, I turned on my TV, and I was doing the channel jumping thing. I hit CNN just as they were airing/laughing about an SNL spoof on their storm coverage. I guess they were genuinely laughing, who knows. But in any case, they switched to the storm watch guy, who said ("laughing"):

"We're out there trying to save lives, and this just doesn't make it easier."
That is officially the stupidest thing I have heard, today. My day hasn't even started, and I know that I will not hear anything more inaccurate or ridiculous for the next fifteen hours.

No one who has ever watched a news broacast, particularly from an area of disaster could honestly believe the reporters are here to help. They're there to get a story. Maybe win a prize for their ability to report on the horrific event without smiling at their good fortune for being in the 'right place at the right time.' (Edward R Murrow award, here I come!)


22 October 2005

The reality of war hits home.

I haven't been doing much blog-reading the last few days; now that I'm back in action, no doubt I'll flood this one for a week with posts, then get ADD and go play outside or something. But for now...

I stumbled across this on The Blogger Cooler tonight.

This is part of a Belgian Unicef ad, designed to show the effects of war on children. I guess for kids, it's more real to see your favorite TV characters blown up than actual people? Note the Smurf running around with his head on fire, that seemed especially realistic...

I don't think this ad will be very effective here, considering the last time I mentioned The Smurfs to members of the younger generation (11, 9, and 7) they had no idea what I was talking about.

Culture gap. So sad...


Good Night. And Good Luck.


I went to see this movie this afternoon (sorry Half-Dozen), because I felt the need to procrastinate all weekend. And, despite the horrible traffic, the rain, and the fact that I was surrounded by senior citizens who walked, talked, drove, and moved slowly, I really enjoyed it. Not only was it a view of the past, but it was echoed modern day concerns. It had all the elements of those classic, old films, too.. shameless smoking, drinking, and cigarette ads.. old news clips of McCarthy's speeches.. the image of the hard, gritty newsman working out a story on a typewriter, and hiding his fear of the reprecussions of his challenges with a scotch.. that low, slow, jazz.. everyone walking around with glasses that look like the Mexican's. The audience (average age, 75; I was probably the youngest person in the theater) kept laughing at all the references they tossed out that I guess I'm a little too young to get, but all was well.

David Strathairn (Edward R Murrow) did a phenomenal job capturing his newsman persona -- little things, like the nervous twitch of a foot just before the broadcast, really helped get his feelings across, and the transition from scared citizen to assertive editorialist (is that a word?) was very powerful. I really recommend this movie, it's a nice departure from a lot of the normal crap that gets churned out for most of the year.


19 October 2005

Round One

Well, I just finished both exams. I felt ok about Stat, but not so great about Pathology. It could have something to do with when I turned to the long answer questions, and saw this:

31. What is the meaning of Life and Death?


On a more humorous note, I ran into Alias in the computer lab just before the test, where I was blog surfing (I reached my breaking point with the studying around 12:15) and she was cramming in last-minute knowledge. She started updating me on some drama that's been going on in her lab, and was finishing up a story about a woman she works and a now-medical student who used to work in the lab. It wasn't a bad story, just about how the med student hated this woman apparently, but Alias never knew. In any case, just as we turned the corner, we saw the woman Alias works with standing by the elevator. Alias was a little surprised, but played it off well -- until the med student walked past us and to the next hallway (she was behind us I guess). The perfect situation of what can happen when you talk about people -- at least the story didn't really make Alias look bad.

Anyway, I'm going to go home and crawl into bed until Lost. Happy hump day everyone, go have some fun!


18 October 2005

Have YOU hugged a tree today?

I was driving home today, with my windows down and moonroof up, looking at the trees that were just starting to change color..... and then I realized that it's October. And it's still nice outside. This seems like a much warmer fall than normal, not that I'm really complaining, but it seems like a moment for some serious reflection.

I read that 2005 might be the warmest year on record, and the hurricane season -- for the first time in sixty years of American record-keeping -- is about to spill over into the Greek alphabet. Are movies like Day After Tomorrow (no, I couldn't get my money back) becoming a reality? Are we (the unaware public) beginning to see the effects of Global Warming?

Despite all the evidence* piling up for or against global warming, it's hard to really get a grasp on the concept if you're not well-versed in the right fields. Sure, pollution is on the rise, and the smog around the city looks really gross, and I burn way more easily than I did before... but what exactly does that mean? Is it really something to worry about? Are we burning through resources and hurtling down a path that will eventually melt the ice caps and submerge everything under water?

With the advent of hybrid cars, smart solar technology, and energy efficient appliances and home modifications, we should all be doing our part to help save the environment. Stop killing off all the furry little animals. Stop cutting down the rain forest -- there's a cure, out there, somewhere. Cut back on fuel use, aerosols (don't huff, it's bad for the planet), and all that stuff that is elevatin carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. In fact, cut back on breathing. Ready.... now! And of course, for the love of god, help preseve our dwindling population of pirates.

I hope I've given you all something very serious to consider. After all, if you don't care about the planet, who will?!??

Now, I'm going to go pour deisel into my hummer and do some donuts in a local wildlife sanctuary. Maybe I'll hit some hippies on the way.

*=top two links I clicked on when I googled 'global warming'


The Colbert Report

Last night I watched the first episode of the Colbert Report, the latest Daily Show spinoff. While I wasn't quite as disappointed as I was with the office... it wasn't so great. I'm really hoping that they're taking the first few weeks to figure out what works, what doesn't, etc, cause I think Stephen Colbert's really funny... it was just a long thirty minutes. A couple things I didn't really care for..

1) The intro music. It sounds like it wants to be the Daily Show theme, but everyone's playing it at different times -- it's a lot of noise.

2) It didn't help that during a conversaton with one of his crew members, the camera angling in on the crew member caught the teleprompter in the background, and you could read their conversation as it was going on.

3) Is it a news show? He only mentioned one... maybe two... current events headlines. There's a ton of stuff he could have covered, humorously, that weren't victims of the Daily Show Report.

4) And those headlines were mentioned in some segment called 'The Word', where I guess he invents a word and then goes off on a rant about it? I didn't quite follow, though parts of that did make me laugh.

5) The interview was a little wierd, but entertaining. I think Stone Phillips was wondering why he was there...

I hope they work out some of the kinks, cause like I said, I think the show could be really funny. I'll have to watch for a few weeks, and see how things go.


17 October 2005

Ow, my brain.

I don't really have anything for you all today, so entertain yourself with this for a little bit.

Enjoy, look for a post when exams are through :)


15 October 2005


I found this as I was going through my notes. It's the Mumbler's response to his own question, which was something to the effect of 'How do you know that this slide is of an normal or abnormal lung?'


His answer? "This is not a normal lung, because they don't really take out a normal lung to take pictures of it."


Nasty Hobbitses

Well, Evee (second roomie) and I are pretty much in shock. One of my bosses in my part time job just got 'asked to leave the company.' He told us at Happy Hour today, and I really feel for him. The whole thing is ridiculous. Even people like Half-dozen (who's been around for years and seen all kinds of stupid shit in our place of employment) were shocked.

This guy hired me when I was 15 to the company. It's impossible for most of us to imagine the place without him, just from what he did that we could see.. all the training, staffing, etc. And then there's all the stuff he does that no one else can do. Poor Evee is going to have a hard time -- everyone in the office is.

Apparently this has been coming for a while, with an internal investigation into 'improving the efficiency' of the department. It's just a shame they chose to fire the guy who makes decisions and cares about the staff, rather than his boss, who is wishy-washy about a lot of the issues that come through, but has a better 'people' personality.

I hope he finds another job soon, and I hope they really appreciate what he does. Things'll certainly be different now. A whole bunch of us are due for certs that they may make us pay for, which at least for me will mean an end to teaching lifeguarding after 4 years. Though it doesn't surprise me, it bothers me, that a sleezy VP (I've met Veep many many times, and I swear he's the skeezy version of Bilbo Baggins; we call him 'The Hobbit') with no sense of how things actually work could make such a short-sighted decision..


14 October 2005


Hey, want to never be excited about eating again? Click Here.


13 October 2005

Satisfaction Guarunteed..?

So, today I had a break between classes which was meant to give us a chance to make our study sheets for statistics. I was perusing the online classifieds in search of new employment (Adventures of a Waitress... Adventures of a Staffing Systems Analyst... they didn't have the same ring). True to form, ADD kicked in a few minutes later and I looked through the 'pets' section, even though I can't have a dog unless I move to a new place, or back home.

The house is too empty without a puppy. :( I really wanted this guy, from Petfinder who got rescued because whoever owned him let him play in traffic. Poor Oscar.

Anyway, here I was reading through the ads, until I came across the following:
Over 50 breeds to choose from!
3 year warr, microchipped, complimentary vet exam. Financing avail. Because-I-won't-give-them-free-advertising of Fairfax
Now, I understand that pet stores are horrible places to get dogs, and that people shouldn't encourage sale of cats and dogs through them, and that their first interest is money and not always what's best for the dog. But I was still pretty shocked at that... "3 year warr." If you have a dog, I hope you understand my reaction... A warranty for your puppy?! And how exactly does that work? Return it if it whizzes on the carpet? Call in to customer service if it barks too much? Do they have trouble-shooting? It's a dog! You're supposed to love them and they're supposed to be a member of your family. My parent's dog, and Sideshow's dog (both my dogs) are like people! That would be like taking out a warranty for your child!

Actually, I bet I'd consider returning a kid over my dog. Kids cry too much and grow up to crash cars, drink illegally, and waste time in college -- not necessarily in that order. Ask my parents, they had six. Most dogs with behavioral problems are made to be that way, it's not their choice. People on the other hand, as has been established many times in this very blog, are just stupid.

I feel bad for the puppies. :(


11 October 2005

Political tendencies...

Funny, because five-ish years ago when I registered to vote, I considered myself a conservative. Amazing what a couple of years can do.

You are a

Social Liberal
(78% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(25% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid


10 October 2005

Are YOU prepared??

The second week of October marks Squirrel Awareness Week, an obscure celebration of diversity with one main objective:

Squirrels must die!

That's right. These animals are not just cute lil' furry creatures that jump from tree to tree, collect nuts, and make crunching sounds under your tires -- these are rodents. And you can be sure they're out there, plotting something evil, right now. I know this is true, cause I've seen them do it on a commercial. Where did these little bastards come from, and how are they currently planning our demise?

Several theories have evolved as to where the squirrel came from, from 'Darwinian theory', to creationism and real scientific ideas. But whatever their origin, they're clearly up to no good. During the course of my thorough research (I googled) I came across the following statements, which I know are reliable because I found them on the internet:
Many skwerlhuggers believe that, someday, a nice squirrel from Heaven will come to set everything "right." They say these are the final days before Skwerlaggedon. Thus, we must embrace Orthodox Skwerlhuggery and the false promises of squirrel world domination...

...the bushytail horde advertises itself as harmless vegans content to nibble delicately on nuts and berries... but they are, in fact, drooling, slavering omnivores... and in some cases, predatory, carnivorous assassins.
Squirrels are responsible for havok everywhere -- just a small number of things I found included...
Damage to cars, homes, and property (they get in people's walls!)
Mental distress (I hit one when I was 15)
Attempted hijacking of a plane
Stealing street drugs for personal use
The moral decline of society
Voting George Bush into office
Clearly, it's time to fight back! So be alert, be on the ready, and look for more information on how to be prepared for
Squirrel Awareness Week


35040 Hours

...give or take a few. Very few things are still as good after that long, among them being...

Good wine
Your favorite book
McDonald's fries (..they look the same...)
Me and Sideshow

That's right, four years ago today I started dating a wonderful man who:

Is thoughtful, intelligent, honest, and caring
Tolerates my caffeine highs and study lows
Supports me in everything I try to do
Makes even bad days better just being there
Is a great cook (Mmm, ribs)
Takes pride in what he does
Isn't afraid to take risks
Knows me better than anyone
Has great taste in puppy dogs
Values his family and friendships highly
Poses with me in front of fountains on our vacations
Helps with yardwork so I don't lose a limb to the chainsaw
Loves sushi
Laughs at my dad's jokes
Is very creative
Speaks his mind
Can do almost anything he sets his mind to
Has a great sense of humor
Shares tons of common interests
Can quote Futurama or Family guy on command
Has always been there when I needed him

Happy Anniversary honey, thanks for always giving me a reason to smile. :)


09 October 2005

In short

Well, evidently I survived my cold. It seemed the cure was hot tea and chicken fingers, chased with a lot of beer. Who knew?

The weekend in short:

  • Happy Hour Friday, introducing Sideshow's parents to the fine animated masterpeice, SouthPark.

  • Alcohol Mecca Saturday morning.

  • Eat Taco Bell for the first time in... a long time.

  • Regret it.

  • Set up and prep for party all day Saturday.

  • Go through party with bum tap on the keg.

  • Crash and recover from party.

  • Spend all day Sunday at family event.

  • Come back and try to do some work.

  • Give up and start blogging.

  • Hope you all had a nice weekend. :)


    07 October 2005

    You! Out of the gene pool!

    I need to stop reading the news. It just makes me angry how stupid people are. I'm not going to even quote the articles anymore, I'm just going to bang my head against the wall.

    It's people like this, who require a warning label on dairy products telling lactose intolerant people not to eat them, that are evidence that we need some chlorine in the gene pool.


    06 October 2005


    Day 1 of me being sick with cold: moderate success.

    I'm going to nuke it with orange juice and chicken soup tonight and tomorrow.


    05 October 2005

    Headline news: Suggestive Items at a Lingerie Store

    Skimpy Underwear, Ample Commentary At Tysons Corner
    Shoppers Appalled, Transfixed By Racy Store Display at Mall

    From The Washington Post.

    Tongues were wagging. E-mails were flying around PTA message groups and church listservs. People who heard about it came by to take a look for themselves. The issue was tiny underwear -- women's fine lingerie, to be exact-- and how it should be displayed on lifelike mannequins in the newest wing of one of America's biggest malls.

    "Little Shop of Whores," huffed one woman standing outside the new Victoria's Secret in Tysons Corner Center. "Slut wear," declared the father of a teenage girl, looking at a feathery-thong-clad mannequin bent over as if she were adjusting her spike heels.

    "I love it," said another woman with a bag of fresh purchases.

    The store was doing a brisk business yesterday as shoppers walked by, some nearly snapping their necks as they caught a glimpse of what the mannequins were wearing and their suggestive poses.

    "Well," said Steina Rubin of Bethesda, "I find it just totally disgusting." And, no, she would not be shopping there. "I'm not entering a whorehouse," she said. "I come to the mall with my daughter. It's disgusting. And I'm from Europe!" (italics from article)

    I've shopped at Victoria's Secret for years, and I love it. It's a lingerie store. It sells underwear. It sells pajamas. It sells clothes you wear when you're going to get some, but people also wear the underwear when they just want to feel pretty, or sexy, or anything else.. Apparently, to some people, this is news.
    spokesman for the mall management company said "many" complaints had been received. "The comments we receive from our customers are valued and appreciated," a spokesman said in a statement, adding that the mall management had shared the comments with Victoria's Secret.

    Shoppers were certainly sharing their comments with one another outside the store.

    "I've shopped here for 10 years, and I won't come back until they change the window," said Joe Cowden of Vienna.

    "I walk the mall. I've been walking the mall for nine years," said Jana Spencer, 53, of Vienna, who said she has three grown children. "This is shocking. This is semi-pornographic. This is insulting."

    Some shoppers said they have an issue not with what the store was selling but with the proximity of the displays to the mall's public areas.

    I don't know how long Joe Cowden will be able to stand bikini-cuts purchased from Target, but I guess it's not so surprising that people are upset about a display that suggests sex. Of course, walking around with your kids (who obviously are all virgin births) doesn't advertise 'Hey, I had sex!' Maybe people are offended at the idea of sex as enjoyment? It's very puritan of them.
    "My 13-year-old daughter is going to come here and shop for a bra?" said Mary Lynne Carraway, 40, of McLean. "Come on. I'm appalled. That's like sending her to a street with a strip joint. Is this the kind of message we want to send to our children, that this is what they should look like?"

    Good idea. Protect them from Vicky's Secret, and they'll definitely be fine -- not counting those images they see in magazines, movies, television, advertisements, and (gasp!) the internet..

    Is it that much easier for people to make a big stink about something like this, than to actually sit down with their kids and talk about being an adult, and the responsilities of sex?


    Oktoberfest at the Renaissance festival

    This past weekend, we went to the RenFest to celebrate Scribble's birthday, and it was all that it was last year -- an afternoon to eat and drink all we wanted, and an evening to regret it. But it was a beautiful day, the shows were funny (Hack and Slash, and Johnny Fox), and the beer and food were very cheap.

    I was also surprised at the selection. Sure, there were the traditional smoked turkey legs and steak on a stake, but you could also get real, authentic, Renaissance chicken fajitas! We also enjoyed the Renaissance Oysters on the Half Shell (Renaissance and Oysters being two words that don't really belong in the same sentence). Somehow, sushi and fondue didn't make it on the menu. Lawnmower threw some axes and shot arrows, and Sideshow gave some serious thought to "body art." We found a sword that was taller than the Teach, as well as tons of the latest (earliest?) renaissance fashions, including a chio chainmail tie (nothing says classy like iron neckwear) and chainmail g-strings (the automatic cure for dry-humping).

    Though it's been so try we ended up inhaling about a pound of dirt, good fun was had by all. Maybe next year, we'll make it for Pirate Weekend.



    I hate over-achievers.

    The professor for my Pathology class asked us to come in and talk about these specfic aspects of inflammation. He didn't want a presentation, all he said was, "Just talk."

    So thats what I did. Silly me. The other two people presenting with me had full-blown powerpoints with special effects, histology slides, extensive background, and two slides actually addressing the topic we were supposed to cover. Me and my looseleaf paper didn't have a chance -- good thing I can be adult about it.

    I hope that took up their whole weekend.


    03 October 2005

    Lawnmower vs. The Mighty Momo

    So a few weeks ago, Lawnmower and I went out with a friend of mine I'd known for years, who's now moved to Boston. Just before eighty long minutes of historically accurate Disney (friend's sister picked it out), we decided to meet for dinner in the mall. Imagine our surprise when we got to the pizzaria and saw their featured drink:

    (Momo: one of my four-lettered nicknames)
    (Mighty: an adjective commonly used to describe me, along with awesome, beautiful, and goddess)

    Now this fit in rather nicely with our strategy to get relaxed (liquored up) just before enjoying (getting through) the movie. Having had my own Tequila Death experience, I was happy with saying "Oh how cool" and ordering myself a beer. Unbeknownst to me (it was a big table, ok?) Lawnmower ordered up her own Momo, some how missing several facts:

    • A margarita is easier to drink on the rocks, rather than frozen. (in my opinion)

    • The waitress asked, 'Are you sure?' when Lawnmower ordered the drink

    • The drink came with a warning label:

    Can't quite read that? In our booze-ordering frenzy, neither could we. Let me enlarge the relevant portion:

    Seem blurry? Imagine the view after the drink. It was when the concoction arrived that we discovered it was actually served in a trough. Observe with Lawnmower for scale:

    They even put little animals on the rim, so by the time you've reached the end of the drink and the start of the drunken-asshole stage, you can introduce your own choking hazards. Between Lawnmower, myself (tequila makes me vomit), and friend's sister (not a drinker) we only made it about this far:

    Shameful I know. But doesn't it look scary up close? In any case, next time we go, we (and by we I mean Lawnmower) will be better prepared for the task. We (and by we I mean Lawnmower) will be trained up to take the Mighty Momo Challenge...

    And even if we fail, at least the crappy ass movie we're supposed to see will be infinitely better.


    29 September 2005

    Getting colder

    I put on a sweater today expecting to be warm, and I was freezing -- I guess the flip-flops I had on while I was waiting for the bus didn't exactly help. I just now seem to be realizing that it's almost October.

    I think I've just been having a wierd time the last few days, maybe it's that I'm realizing how much more quickly time is going by. I never noticed before, but now I look back and September is gone. What's more, I can't shake this feeling that life is slipping by a little too fast, maybe even go so far as to say it's slipping away from me.

    It's not a feeling I enjoy.


    In short...

    Things that made me angry today:

    • My alarm clock

    • A thunderstorm hitting just before I got in the pool

    • The lady at the deli who flipped out on the girl for not having French rolls

    • The girl who got on the elevator at floor 2, and got off at floor 3

    • Statistics

    Things that made me happy today:

    • Having lunch with my honey

    • A thunderstorm hitting just before I got in the pool (the Teach knows what I'm talking about)

    • Making a new friend at seminar

    • Knowing now I can go home and take a nap


    28 September 2005

    Just wierd.

    Hey kids! Welcome to your weekly dose of "WTF?"

    They never showed this in Guidance Class... Link


    27 September 2005

    The Wheels on the Bus go 'round and 'round...

    A conversation:

    "The other day, I had me some caviar, and it was pretty good."

    "Girl, you are so gourmet! Always trying new things."

    "Yeah, baby, the other day I was at this Chinese buffet, and they had these.. oh, um.. froglegs, they had frog legs. Mmm, girl, they taste just like chicken."

    I love riding the bus.


    26 September 2005

    A reflection on gas prices..

    I really like Dave Barry, and still get his old columns from the Miami Herald -- it made me smile a little to see that this one is still as relevant as it was 5 years ago.

    We're just a few dinosaurs short of a full tank


    (This classic Dave Barry column was originally published on April 16, 2000.)

    If you've been to a gas station lately, you have no doubt been shocked by the prices: $1.67, $1.78, even $1.92. And that's just for Hostess Twinkies. Gas prices are even worse.

    Americans are ticked off about this, and with good reason: Our rights are being violated! The First Amendment clearly states: 'In addition to freedom of speech, Americans shall always have low gasoline prices, so they can drive around in `sport utility' vehicles the size of minor planets.''

    And don't let any so-called ''economists'' try to tell you that foreigners pay more for gas than we do. Foreigners use metric gasoline, which is sold in foreign units called ''kilometers,'' plus they are paying for it with foreign currencies such as the ''franc,'' the ''lira'' and the ''doubloon.'' So in fact there is no mathematical way to tell WHAT they are paying.

    But here in the U.S., we are definitely getting messed over, and the question is: What are we going to do about it? Step one, of course, is to file a class-action lawsuit against the cigarette companies. They have nothing to do with gasoline, but juries really hate them, so we'd probably win several hundred billion dollars.

    But that is a short-term answer. To truly solve this problem, we must understand how the oil business works. Like most Americans, you probably think that gasoline comes from the pump at the gas station. Ha ha! What an idiot. In fact, the gasoline comes from tanks located UNDER the gas station.

    These tanks are connected to underground pipelines, which carry large oil tankers filled with oil from the Middle East.

    But how did the oil get in the Middle East in the first place? To answer that question, we must go back millions of years, to an era that geologists call the Voracious Period, when giant dinosaurs roamed the Earth, eating everything that stood in their path, except for broccoli, which they hated.

    And then, one fateful day (Oct. 8), a runaway asteroid, believed by scientists to be nearly twice the diameter of the late Orson Welles, slammed into the Earth and killed the dinosaurs, who by sheer bad luck all happened to be standing right where it landed. The massive impact turned the dinosaurs, via a process called photosynthesis, into oil; this oil was then gradually covered with a layer of sand, which in turn was gradually covered by a layer of people who hate each other, and thus the Middle East was formed.

    For many years, the Middle East was content to supply the United States with as much oil as we wanted at fair constitutional prices. But then the major oil-producing nations -- Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Texas -- got all snotty and formed an organization called OPEC, which stands for ''North Atlantic Treaty Organization.'' In the 1970s, OPEC decided to raise prices, and soon the United States was caught up in a serious crisis: The Disco Era.

    It was horrible. You couldn't go to a bar or wedding reception without being ordered onto the dance floor to learn ``The Hustle.''

    At the same time, we also had an oil crisis, which was caused by the fact that every motorist in the United States was determined to keep his or her automobile gas tank completely filled at all times. As soon as your gas gauge dropped from ''Full'' to ''Fifteen-sixteenths,'' you'd rush to a gas station and get in a huge line with hundreds of other motorists who also had nearly full tanks. Also a lot of people, including me, saved on heating oil by buying kerosene space heaters, which enabled us to transform a cold, dank room into a cold, dank room filled with kerosene fumes.

    Buying gas and dancing ''The Hustle'' with people who smelled like kerosene: That was the '70s.

    So anyway, the oil crisis finally ended, and over time we got rid of our Volkswagen Rabbits and replaced them with Chevrolet Suburbans boasting the same fuel economy as the Pentagon. Now, once again, we find ourselves facing rising gas prices, and the question is: This time, are we going to learn from the past? Are we finally going to get serious about energy conservation?

    Of course not! We have the brains of mealworms! So we need to get more oil somehow. As far as I can figure, there's only one practical way to do this.

    That's right: We need to clone more dinosaurs. We have the technology, as was shown in two blockbuster scientific movies, ''Jurassic Park'' and ''Jurassic Park Returns with Exactly the Same Plot.'' Once we have the dinosaurs, all we need is an asteroid. Or, if he is available, Michael Moore.

    If this plan makes sense to you, double your medication dosage, then write to your congressperson. Do it now! That way you'll be busy when I siphon your tank.



    A little Monday-morning stupidity to start off the week: Link


    25 September 2005

    Designer condoms

    This is an actual MSN news story, linked here

    Chinese rubber company begins marketing condoms with Clinton, Lewinsky brand names

    BEIJING -- A rubber company in China has begun marketing condoms under the brand names Clinton and Lewinsky, apparently seeking to exploit the White House affair that led to the impeachment of America's 42nd president.

    Spokesman Liu Wenhua of the Guangzhou Rubber Group said the company was handing out 100,000 free Clinton and Lewinsky condoms as part of a promotion to raise consumer awareness of its new products.

    He said that after the promotion ends, the Clinton condoms will go on sale in southern China for 29.8 Yuan (US$3.72) for a box of 12, while the Lewinsky model will be priced at 18.8 Yuan (US$2.35) for the same quantity.

    "The Clinton condom will be the top of our line," he said. "The Lewinsky condom is not quite as good."
    'Not quite as good?' As in, it wall influence you to call people you barely know and chat about your illicit exploits? As in, it comes lubed with liquid cement? I don't know if the government of one of the most populated countries in the world should be dispensing second-rate jimmy hats..
    Liu said the company had chosen to use the Clinton name because consumers viewed the former president as a responsible person, who would want to stress safe sex as an effective way to prevent the spread of the HIV virus.

    "The names we chose are symbols of people who are responsible and dedicated to their jobs," he said. "I believe Bill Clinton cannot be unhappy about this because he's a very generous man."
    Because when I think Clinton and Lewinsky in the same sentence, I think about people who are serious about their jobs.

    Other condom ideas that never quite got off the ground:

  • The CIA Lifestye - because loose lips sink ships

  • Voo Doo Rubbers - use the red pins for extra spice

  • The Wendy's condom - where's the beef?

  • Biodegradeable Trojans - environmentally friendly

  • Slimjim Lifestyles - snap into a slim jim!
  •

    24 September 2005


    I'm never drinking again.

    And this time I almost mean it.

    I did find some interesting internet material on hangover cures. One of my favorites, and by favorites I mean 'ew':

    Apparently, in the Wild Wild West, whisky-swilling cowboys swore by a stiff cup of rabbit-poo tea. As if that morning breath wasn't bad enough already.


    23 September 2005

    Rainy-day reading?



    22 September 2005

    One up for intolerance...

    This really bothers me.


    Carlton Jr.

    So, I realized that while the title of my blog is 'Adventures of a Graduate Student', I don't always adequately cover my Adventures, or the fact that I'm a graduate student. In an effort to give you a true glimpse into my daily life, I'm going to talk a little bit more about my classes.

    More specifically, my statistics class.

    Now, I can't really talk about what we're learning, because I really don't care at the moment and the PostDoc (PD) teaching the class is still kinda working on this whole 'teaching' thing. Though she's really nice. Alias and I, who had identical schedules last year down to lab hours (we worked in the same place) are in this class together. It's actually the biggest class I've been in so far, with twenty-some people, and the longest.

    Because of one person, who is very nice but by some freakish twist of reality looks, sounds, and acts like the lovechild of Carlton from Fresh Prince and Steve Urkel from Family Matters. I swear I speak the truth.

    Here is a typical class:

    PD: "All right, so here is our data distribution. This is similar to what I plan to give you on the test, and it is very straightforward."

    Carlton: "Pardon. Can you tell us how you might be arranging the exam?"

    PD: "Well, I am planning on having problems on the first one, and a few concepts to illustrate the higher points. It is just like we are going through your notes."

    Alias: "So wait, our exams are going to be open note?"

    PD: "No, not open note. But I am going to let you bring a cheat sheet. It would be far too hard open note."

    Carlton: "Pardon. So would the exam be easier if it wasn't open note?"

    PD: "No, it is not that it is easier or harder. You just need to know--"

    Carlton: "Are you going to have trick questions?"

    PD: "Well, I can't really say that, because what you view to be a trick question might not be my definition. But I am not going to try to mess you up."

    Carlton: "Pardon. Are there going to be things on there that might make the question difficult to understand?"

    Now, this dialogue is paraphrased, because at the time I was torn between writing it down for my blog and jamming my pencil through my eardrum so I wouldn't have to take the pain anymore. If you made it all the way through, I'm impressed. Take the time it took you to read those few lines, imagine it extending to 120 minutss. Welcome to my Tuesday/Thursday afternoons.


    21 September 2005


    I'm sitting here surfing the web and listening to the news (a major local news netowrk), and I hear this headline...

    Hurricanes and Tornados -- acts of nature, or linked to Aliens?

    Ow. My brain.


    Things I am now addicted to...


    Spaghetti Squash.

    ..independent of each other.


    More stock fraud in the news

    Senator sold stock before price dropped

    Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a potential presidential candidate in 2008, sold all his stock in his family's hospital corporation about two weeks before it issued a disappointing earnings report and the price fell nearly 15 percent.

    Frist held an undisclosed amount of stock in Hospital Corporation of America, based in Nashville, the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain. On June 13, he instructed the trustee managing the assets to sell his HCA shares and those of his wife and children, said Amy Call, a spokeswoman for Frist.

    Frist held an undisclosed amount of stock in Hospital Corporation of America, based in Nashville, the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain. On June 13, he instructed the trustee managing the assets to sell his HCA shares and those of his wife and children, said Amy Call, a spokeswoman for Frist.

    Hey, does this sound familiar to anyone else? I doubt he'll be serving any jail time, though...

    The value of Frist's stock at the time of the sale was not disclosed. Earlier this year, he reported holding blind trusts valued at $7 million to $35 million.

    Blind trusts are used to avoid conflicts of interest. Assets are turned over to a trustee who manages them without divulging any purchases or sales and reports only the total value and income earned to the owner.

    To keep the trust blind, Frist was not allowed to know how much HCA stock he owned, Call said, but he was allowed to ask for all of it to be sold.

    Frist, a surgeon first elected to the Senate in 1994, had been criticized for maintaining the holdings while dealing with legislation affecting the medical industry and managed care. Call said the Senate Select Committee on Ethics has found nothing wrong with Frist's holdings in the company in a blind trust.

    "To avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, Senator Frist went beyond what ethics requires and sold the stock," Call said.

    It always demands a lot of sacrifice to make a move that will save you millions of dollars. For someone who went to medical school, he's not very keen on how this looks, even if insider trading hasn't occurred. Of course, this is the same physician (who's been in the senate for almost 12 years -- would you have him operate on you at this point? It's not like riding a bike, people -- who made a prognosis on a patient he'd never personally met, based on a few hours of videotape, so maybe he skipped a couple of lectures.

    Asked why he had not done so before, she said, "I don't know that he's been worried about it in the past."

    HCA -- formerly known as Columbia HCA Healthcare Corp. -- has been a top contributor to the senator's campaigns, donating $83,450 since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.


    20 September 2005


    The Washington Post put out an article today that made me shake my head. Seems like I'm doing that a lot these days.

    When Trish Thackston's 7-year-old son, Connor, broke out with chickenpox recently, she quickly scheduled play dates with four families over the next four days at their Alexandria house.

    The kids made art projects with glue and glitter, worked side by side on dinosaur puzzles and shared spoons, all with the intention of transmitting the illness to the healthy children. Her son, thrilled not to be sequestered from friends as he usually is on sick days, said excitedly one morning: "Who's coming over to catch my chickenpox today?"

    Some parents, including Thackston, are shunning the chickenpox vaccine, introduced in 1995 and considered safe and effective by most health authorities, in favor of the old-style method of exposing children to the real thing at an early age. Today's parents may remember their own moms and dads tucking sick siblings in bed with healthy ones and inviting friends over to spread the illness.

    Many who choose to expose their children believe that catching the illness at "chickenpox parties" is safer and more effective than using vaccines.

    These people are idiots. That's a great idea -- expose your child to an illness, and let it run its course, a process you can't control at all. Their reasoning?

    Many parents who don't vaccinate their children or who use vaccines sparingly worry that ingredients in the shots could cause autism or other disorders, although no connection between vaccines and these disorders has been proven.

    In fact, the chicken pox vaccine has been shown in repeated studies to be safe and effective. One article reported the vaccine had an efficacy of 85%, and those children that did contract the disease experienced much milder forms. In addition, resources suggest infection with chicken pox does not confer lifelong immunity -- people infected as children have an increased risk experiencing the painful adult relapse of the disease, commonly known as 'shingles.' Of course, these people are looking out for the best interests of their children -- so what do they do?

    For those in favor of pox play dates, finding each other has become much easier through the Internet, where parents can post e-mails on message groups seeking the pox or offering their homes for a party.

    Because obviously that's the safest thing to do in this day and age. Meet a stranger on the internet and bring your kid. Actually, I found the scariest thing was that the second most commonly refused vaccine (following chicken pox) was the MMR shot. I just don't understand how a parent could willingly expose their child to potentially fatal or debilitating illnesses for which we have a cure.

    The Story



    So, tonight was Italian, part due, which was actually just as much fun, and a little less frustrating than the first night. Because Lawnmower couldn't get into the class, she and I spent some time this afternoon practicing things like the alphabet (alfabeto) and numbers (numeri). All in all, it went something like this..

    Me: "Ok, let's go through the numbers in the book over thirty. Ready? Trenta."

    Lawnmower: "Trenta"

    Me: "Quaranta"

    Lawnmower: "Quaranta"

    Me: "Cinquanta"

    Lawnmower: "Chinquanta"

    Me: "Sessanta."

    Lawnmower: "Sessanta... like, Sessanta Anna?"

    Me: "Settanta"

    Lawnmower: "Settanta.. Like, Settanta Clause?"

    At that point, we pretty much gave in to ADD and got absolutely nothing done. But it was nice to hang out.


    19 September 2005

    Talk like a pirate day!

    Happy National Talk Like A Pirate Day. Arr.

    So, now that I'm into the spirit of things, I thought I'd spend a moment on reflecting on one of the truly tragic losses of our time: the now endangered Pirate.

    Throughout history, pirates have adapted to their times. Bucking the labels of convention, their motto could go something like: "One man's criminal is another's privateer. Now give me your gold and your maidens." There's lots of historical evidence on the roles of pirates in wars and government, but as I don't really feel like reading up on it, I'm going to go on making things up.

    Pirates evolved about a thousand years ago (with the dinosaurs, if you're a creationist) into a people dedicated to the sea. They started a war with their natural enemy, the ninja, who eventually forced them off their land. They took to the sea to find a better life. Along the way, they met the ship DDD, laid the righteous pirate slap (see below) upon them, and won! They decided that chasing booty was the way to go, and thus a new enterprise was born. Incidentally, the present day frat-boy is a distant descendant of this species.

    Sadly, pirates are ill adapted to our knew, modern day society. Modern technology has only sparingly adapted to pirate needs. From what I could see during my google search, those that didn't choose the life of videogame and movie characters have been forced to model bad halloween costumes, though the market seems to be ripe for pirates willing to bare their cleavage to the adult industry. Fortunately, their legacy lives on in a wonderful range of phrases immortalized in reference literature. Some of my favorites include the angry pirate, pirate pants, the famous pirate slap, and apparently 'Pirates', a beer in France with massive alcohol content.

    So, next time you cheer for the Pirates (hockey or baseball), or catch yourself listening to some Piratecore, take a moment to reflect on everything pirates have done for you.

    Cap'n Abigail Firebeard, signing off.


    15 September 2005

    Gift Ideas

    It's always hard to shop for some people, whether its a birthday, a holiday, or just a special occassion. Having given a lot of thought to someone's birthday present recently (and by a lot of thought I mean I asked him what he wanted), I scoured the web for some unique gift ideas (and by scoured I mean googled for ten minutes). Below is a partial list of what I found, so you too can share the gift of wierd with your loved ones.

    5. Coming in at the start of the list (bottom? top? I can't decide if this is a countdown or a count up.): give the gift of pestilence. That's right, now you can share your favorite virulent pathogen with your loved one -- and then give them a stuffed animal to commemorate it! The Giant Microbe Flu Bug is a great gift for all ages.

    4. If diseases aren't your thing, you can give the gift of a better life. Nothing says "baby I love you" like a class that says "you suck at life and need special tutoring." The Life Coaching Seminar offered in the UK can help your loved one improve any area of their life. Hopefully relationships will be one of them.

    3. Give the gift of new dental work! Your loved one will be swooning all the way to the emergency dentist with this next gift, a finely crafted Solid Silver Rollo. Personalize it with a special message, or with your loved one's dental records.

    2. Help improve the garden or yard with this next lovely piece, an ornamental Squatting gnome advertised as quirky and enjoyable. One site even suggests he might 'lead you to the buried treasure'. Steaming turd shipped by special request.

    1. Topping (ending?) the count is........ (drumroll please)
    Plastic figurines that dispense cigarettes or candy from their assholes. Because nothing says classy like eating jelly beans that fell out of a plastic cow's rectum.

    I hope you've enjoyed this handy reference for those hard-to-shop-for people in your life. Remember, the best gifts are those that keep on giving. Make memories that you'll talk about for years to come (unless that restraining order gets in the way).


    13 September 2005

    Buona sera!

    Needless to say, tonight was the first evening of my noncredit Italian course. Sans book, but I'll work to resolve that tomorrow. Overall I enjoyed it -- if the instructor has a great sense of humor he left it at home tonight, but he seems ok, and the class was basic, which is what I need. And it sounds so sexy! I love to hear someone speak it. I can now count, introduce myself, say hello and goodbye, where I'm from, spell my name, and give my phone number. Grandma would be so proud :)

    Now, time to recover from my three-hours of sleep last night.


    12 September 2005

    Cawfee Tawk

    Ok, blogger boys and girls, here's my monday morning thoughts: who is responsible for your personal security?

    Now, I'm aware that this is only one thought. And this is probably a good time to mention that I am starting this post with every intention of not going political with it, though we all know how these things can spiral out of control. But lots of things can come from this consideration.

    I think many people who participate in discussions about this sort of thing would probably lean toward the belief that people should be responsible for their own security -- though American society as a whole exists in a state which decidedly denies acceptance of consequences and such. You can sue anyone for anything, deserved or not, and until I make several million dollars in a case like that, I'm wholeheartedly against it. (Ahem. Joke.) But I guess the question is whether or not a decision like that is as clear-cut as the first six words of this paragraph could lead someone to believe.

    Let's take one example hot in the news: Identity theft.

    It's a good idea nowadays to monitor your banking closely on line, check your credit statement often during the year, and avoid giving out information over channels that may be less than secure. You could argue that it is your personal responsibility to do these things. But consider the following situations:

  • I make a payment for a purchase I can only get over a line that's not guaranteed secure. (or something) My savings gets cleaned out. Who is at fault?

  • Same situation, but this time I'm an elderly person who isn't comfortable using computers, and thus I don't monitor my account activity as closely as I might otherwise. Who is at fault?

  • Ok, same as number two, no factor in that I live in a poor neighborhood with minimal earnings. Even though I have no debts (good credit) I can't afford a computer/internet, or I work too many hours to make accessing what is available at the public library really possible. Maybe I only watch the HSN. Am I at fault then if my identity is stolen, or could more have been done to prevent it?

  • I've set up home networking, and the company's failure to provide instruction on securing the network results in information fraud. Am I responsible for the result? What if they set it up incorrectly? What if they set it up correctly and the security is compromised by a hacker or virus?
    If it's not your fault, who pays? If it is, who pays?

    Well, this is a little harder then I thought, but feel free to give your own comments. On to situation number two: Your safety.

    The same line of thought should be accountable for your own safety, whether it means training, or making common sense decisions (dark alley... well-lit street... dark alley.... well-lit street...) But again, the more I think about it, the more I see that could be discussed.

  • I'm walking out to my car at night and I get mugged. Could I have prevented this?

  • I've been studying the Steven Segall school of martial arts for the last ten years, and feel confident in many situations. I can break concrete walls with my head. I get mugged, and get the crap kicked out of me. Am I at fault? Is my teacher? (Maybe he could have taught running better...)

  • I walk to my car at night, and normally carry something for protection, but my workplace has just instituted a ban on weapons of that type. Without my defense, am I an easier prey? Should the workplace be then held accountable for providing better security?

  • Consider the same situation as above, but now I am in an airplane, unable to carry my knife or mace or lighterfluid, whatever it is they've confiscated at security. If no federal air marshall is on board, and something happens, is the airline responsible for compensation for my injury? The FAA? The government?

  • Maybe these are wierd questions to ask, but more and more I look at the news and shake my head at what's going on. I read a news article last week about a family suing the city and the police department for the death of two children struck by a suspect fleeing in a chase that had been called off. I see the ads for malpractice and ambulance-chasing lawyers, some of which do good and just work, but I can't believe all alleged malpractice cases are legitimately such. I worked as a lifeguard for years, but when I moved to another workplaces, I had to consider if I would be willing to respond to a rescue situation outside the environment in which I was trained. What if someone sued me for helping? What if someone tried to sue me for not? But even more importantly, how could I deal with the consequences of not helping?

    Well, if you made it to the end of this post, leave a comment and let me know what you think. I'm curious.