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Be your own Disneyland.

Tuesday, December 31

Wishing everyone a Safe and Happy New Year's Eve!!

Many companies with an online presence these days are trying to encourage people to use their web sites to do things that would normally require a phone call or a personal visit, tying up customer service personnel and keeping operating costs high. They tell us that doing stuff online will save them costs, which will translate into lower costs for us, as well as ease of use and prompt service.

I tell you that it isn't working out so well.

In the past few weeks, I have tried to buy stamps online, make an appointment at my local DMV office, buy renters insurance, and change my fucking address for my cell phone bill. Each and every one of these services was pushed hard on their websites and I tried them all.

Every single one of those operations was time-consuming and ultimately unsucessful due to internal errors or that service being "unavailabe at this time" (a message that would be much more helpful at the beginning of the process).

I'm a little annoyed.

Ok. As I said yesterday, it's an ambitious plan, but my resolution (a word that immediately dooms it, but just go with it) this year is to take full responsibility for my health. This includes a lot of things, like visiting doctors on a regular basis, modifying my diet so that I don't end up with diabetes, exercising so that I can climb the stairs to my apartment and not be winded. You know, small stuff.

I've already made some doctors appointments and applied for renter's insurance (not something you'd think would be included, but trust me, it's important).

I'm on my way and the new year hasn't even started yet!

Monday, December 30

I'm back. 'Tis good. I sat for 3 1/2 hours next to a baby that didn't cry. And he was fairly lively, so I don't think drugs were the cause of his lack 'o fussiness.

Thinking about the new year and what I want to do different from this last year. So far, it's rather ambitious. But I think this year will be different. At least, I hope it will be.

Best of luck to you all and your hopes and dreams and ambitions for the new year.

Sunday, December 29

Q: What do people in Dallas do for culture?

A: They go to Fort Worth.

Also, remember Jish's comment about "I'll tell you what" as a conversation opener in Alabama? Well, its use extends to Texas too, my father in particular.

Hi there! I'm in Dallas, visiting my dad. Doing all the cultural stuff there is to do in Dallas, like shop, eat, and watch movies. (I'm going to ask today if there is anything more to the area than that.)

I'll be back tomorrow. Would anyone like to pick me up from the airport?

Thursday, December 26

Well, my Christmas was great. How was yours?

Tuesday, December 24

And just when you thought nothing could be done to improve the meal, soy sauce made an appearance and all was well with the world.

I'll have to remember that next time I'm asked to eat yams. Or asparagus. Or watermelon.

Happy Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 23

The Mayfly Project is back. How would you describe your 2002?
Moved. Turned 30. Tried love, but sometimes love isn’t enough. Heartache. Unemployed. Re-employed. Friends are everything. Moved again. Moving on.
Last year's Mayfly submission.

No, really. Where are you from?

To those who might have already answered this question, at some point all the info disappeared. I don't know when, or who did it, or even why or how. Time to start afresh!

For your viewing enjoyment, 2 other mirror pics that were not accepted by the Institute of Mirror Reflectology:

Peeking (hi-res, large version)
The Fabulous Min Jung (hi-res, large version).

'Tis true, in the smaller versions it's a bit difficult to see me (they're supposed to be reflective pictures after all), but in the peeking pic, I'm in the bottom of the left-hand window, peeking over the sill with my partner-in-crime, Jish. As for the Min Jung pic, I'm the big white object in her sunglasses. Rather, that's my extremely white sweater. I'm white, but not that white.

My latest Mirror Pic.

It's Christmas Eve Eve. I go Home tomorrow night!

Nothing like slicing your hand open with the bread knife to start the Monday morning off right.

Sunday, December 22

A black hole has appeared in my apartment. Since yesterday, I have lost some shoe inserts I bought the day before and today I lost my stereo remote control.

I'm a little anxious about what's going to disappear next.

Don't forget! Tonight is the Galaxy Girls holiday show!

Saturday, December 21

Other highlights from a day that can only be described as a "girls' day out":

- "Grown men should not wear festive sweaters. Especially festive sweater vests with matching turtlenecks." {editor's note: think Bridget Jones}

- "There simply aren't enough opportunities to use the word vermin."

- "One should always wave at firemen." {editor's note: for some reason there were firemen everywhere today. Lots of waving opportunities.}

- "It's easier to get it in there if you're loose." {editor's note: a knitting reference}

When they tell you that waxing your eyebrows doesn't hurt, don't believe 'em.

Not that it hurts a lot, but pain is involved, and it itches afterward, and you're not supposed to scratch.

Still, I look hot. Well, hotter than usual.

Friday, December 20

This was in the process of being posted much earlier today, but then the power went out, then my computer crashed and wouldn't cooperate afterward, then, then, then. So here's my bit o' wit for the day:

Her: I'm going to need [calm and quiet], too, if the family is going to be difficult...
Me: your mom is still upset about [your sister]?
Her: I'm sure
Her: I've been afraid to call her
Me: yeah, she doesn't let go of these things easily, does she?
Her: ba ha ha. Where do you think I get my grudge-keeping traits from?
Me: :D
Me: but you're not your mother. or at least not in the less-that-ideal ways.
Her: Our family style is to worry things over by yourself until you're unbelieveably upset about them, and then implode
Her: we all do it
Her: I do have some of her traits, I catch them sometimes when I'm having trouble with [my boyfriend].
Her: but I do think I catch them, mostly
Me: self-awareness is veeerrrry important. or we're doomed to recommit the mistakes of our fathers (and mothers)
Her: exactly
Her: sigh... it's so much work, this being a better person thing :)
Me: ok, of all the funny things said and read in the past few days, that made me laugh the loudest.
Her: yay!

Thursday, December 19

I just finished Vox, a great book. I can't say more than that, for a variety of reasons, but trust me, you should read it.

I am wearing a big shiny gold ribbon from my secret santa gift in my hair and a big bright red turtleneck sweater (that doesn't do as much as I'd hoped to hide the extra surface area under my chin) and I sang along, albeit quietly, to the Christmas song on the bus this morning. Oh, and I got a note in the mail from my mom and gifts from two of my bestest friends.

Christmas has already begun. I'm just waiting to take time off next week to share it with my family.

Wednesday, December 18

Via a friend: White Trash Christmas. Too frickin' funny.

Folks, if you're doing the whole Secret Santa thing at work, or at school, or whatever, and the person who gives you a gift wants to maintain their "secret" status, please respect that.

Going around from desk to desk interrogating people, comparing handwriting, and generally being a nuisance doesn't show your appreciation for the gift. It's just plain rude and annoying. To everyone.

Winning the prize for Best Title of a Work:
Romes master-peece. Or, The grand conspiracy of the pope and his Iesuited instruments, to extirpate the Protestant religion, re-establish popery, subvert lawes, liberties, peace, parliaments, by kindling a civill war in Scotland, and all His Majesties realmes, and to poyson the King himselfe in case hee comply not with them in these their execrable designes. Revealed ... to Andreas ab Habernfeld, by an agent sent from Rome ... who discovered it to Sir William Boswell ... He ... to the Arch-bishop of Canterbury (among whose papers it was casually found by Master Prynne ...) who communicated it to the King

-- Prynne, William, 1600-1669

Winning the prize for Most Obscure Spam Subject Line: I speed back wist, down to one-way from cops.

Made more obscure by the fact that they apparently intended to deliver their message via two images in the email, which are broken.

Tuesday, December 17

Yes, I'm aware that it needs work, but it's late and this wasn't what I intended to do with my time tonight, so it'll have to wait. But it's not too bad for the first upload, is it?

Thanks, Tom for all the work you put into this. You did a great job.

Hahaha. Tom Jones doing "Burning Down the House." This is as bad as the Dixie Chicks and Smashing Pumpkins covering Fleetwood Mac songs.

Laa dee daa. Happy Tuesday.

Oh, if you've received a Christmas card from me, and you actually read this site and remember when I mentioned putting the wrong return address on most of the cards I did this year, rest assured that due to the inefficiency of the United States Postal Service, I didn't get those stamps I ordered till several days after I noticed my mistake, so what you see on the envelope is my correct new address.

Monday, December 16

I placed a bid on eBay for one of the items over at Judith's 20 Things auction. You should too.

So, like, I live in the SF bay area? And it's, like, raining? And, like, I went for a sandwich across the street when it was sunny? And when I got my sandwich and prepared to leave, it, like, started POURING?

Now my feet and hair are soaked. Everything in between, however, is dry. Trenchcoats are good.

*gasp* This is my last full week of work till after the New Year begins.

Doing the Happy BooBoo Dance.

A classic Monday: I went to bed waaay too late, the power went out during the night, so my alarm didn't go off this morning (and I was too tired for my customary sort-of wakeup at the normal time to notice), and I got in to work an hour late.

But ...

I went to bed late because I went to an awesome concert by Peter Gabriel in San Jose last night. He may be getting old (the concert is named the "Growing Up Tour"), but he still has all the energy he ever had. And the stage effects were pretty darn neat. And it was extremely satisfying to be in a huge arena (yes, it was an arena concert. shut up), and feel like you were in a small venue because the stage was in the middle, so everyone was relatively close to the performers. And that goatee is pretty cool.

I have a great friend who thinks to call me when he's at the airport to make sure that I woke up, since his power went out during the night and he thought mine might have done the same.

The drive in was beautiful, what with the sun valiantly trying to get through the storm clouds ... and there was no traffic on the bridge.

I got to work earlier than expected, so I had time to eat something.

Still bone tired, though. Can't wait to get back home and go to bed. *zzzzzzz*

A true story

I have worn glasses since I was 3 or 4 years old. Yes, I was one of those poor young souls plagued by the big plastic lenses and frames, called 4-eyes by all the other kids, and generally considered more intelligent than my peers and therefore "different" (not in a good way) by young and old alike. I don't supposed it helped that I was a quiet child, and that I tested well. I'm convinced that with the right stylist, I could have been as cute as that kid in Jerry Maguire. Cuter.

For many years, I thought I had been cursed because when I was very young, I disobeyed my grandma and ran through her house with her little Sheltie chasing me and I ran *smack* into a door. The august beginning of a classic clutz. Naturally, I hit the door with my face, right on the edge of the panel of wood, resulting in a dramatic cut down the right side of my forehead and a spectacular black eye, which grew to two over the course of the week before fading. This particular injury had the Child Welfare folks at my house, questioning my mother about why she was hitting me, since the story about running into the wall was apparently too hard to believe. Just for your information, my mom only spanked me twice that I can remember, and they were well-deserved occassions, I assure you.

Anyway. Turns out that as a result of the black eyes and the trips to the optometrist to make sure that I would recover from my own gracelessness, they discovered a weak nerve somehow connected to my left eye. Nothing but coke-bottle vision aides would help. But first, and this was the fun part, they put some sort of solution in my eyes that made everything blurry for what seemed to my little 3 or 4 year old brain as weeks, but were probably just a few days. And it was at Christmas time, which made it all the more special (it was an adventure ... the social ostracism happened a while later).

The point of this long, not-very-well-told tale is to point out the Tree Blog, where you can post pictures of your holiday tree. And some of those trees look just like the trees I remember from that pivotal year that I got glasses. [via Jish]

Sunday, December 15

Remember the shiny red shirt I mentioned before? Here's a picture of me actually wearing the shirt (with my handsome 'party companion').

Saturday, December 14

Def Leppard rocked. When he asked, "do you want to get rocked" I think everyone said yes.

This concert rocked particularly well for a few reasons:

1) one of our companions is temporarily using crutches and is in physical therapy. What did this mean? Handicapped parking. Awww yeah.

2) the fight which happened right in front of us when we were sitting. See, the couple in front of us were looking for a fight from the moment they sat down in seats that weren't theirs, and then they talked shit about the people in front of them ... one thing lead to another and suddenly fists were flying, there was a catfight, and blood ... and all we could do was say "wow, this is what we drove from San Francisco to Sacramento to see." And no, we weren't being sarcastic.

3) although this is a band that's been around forever, they still played all the old stuff, not just the new stuff from their latest record. And by the "old stuff" I mean the good stuff from Pyromania and Hysteria and Adrenalize. After seeing a few older bands who wouldn't play anything from before 1995, this was refreshing. Maybe they're just in better touch with their target audience, who couldn't wait to hear Photograph and Rock of Ages and Foolin' and Pour Some Sugar on Me and Animal and Rocket .... I'll stop now.

The concert rocked.

Friday, December 13

I'm going to see Def Leppard tonight, but for some reason Bon Jovi songs keep going through my head.

I've got a case of bad medicine80's Hair Band Mix Up. Raise your hand and rock on.

It has been brought to my attention by Adam that stressed spelled backwards is desserts. As I told him, this puts a whole new spin on things.

Cool.

Pants, Buddha, and carpentering. It's an interesting discussion over at Chatterwaul.

What I want most for Christmas right now is a nap. Could you get that wrapped up and delivered by the weekend? Thanks.

Thursday, December 12

Update: contrary to expectations, the guys around here haven't changed their attention noticeably. However, many of the women are being friendlier than usual.

Hmmm...

Speaking of the party tonight, I won't have a chance to go home between work and travelling to Palo Alto, so I came to work dressed in my 'party' clothes. Today, that means a long skirt and a sweater, with the appropriate holiday pin.

Given that my own work environment is extremely casual (jeans and t-shirts every single day), I am interested in how I will be perceived and treated differently, given the girly attire. Already I've gotten one hello from someone who never looked at me twice before. We'll see how the day proceeds.

And today begins the real holiday season. Or at least the partying portion.

I'm going to a friend's company party tonight, Def Leppard tomorrow night, two parties (one involving a visit to my stylist so that I don't look like a long-haired poodle) on Saturday, and a brunch on Sunday, followed by a Peter Gabriel concert.

I'm having trouble fitting all these events in my calendar, especially when combined with birthdays and such. While the boxes indicating the weekdays are relatively empty, the borders of my calendar are crowded to the point of illegibility.

Wednesday, December 11

Damn, I smell good.

It's amazing to me that my site comes up third on a search for sing up for free porn online by birthday or social security number only.. Naturally, given this post, it will come up first. Yay.

Confidential to Britney, Christina and Shakira -- You can sing fully dressed, as it turns out.
-JillMatrix

Tuesday, December 10

I am victorious. The shiny red shirt* is mine.

*The shiny red shirt had its picture taken, but my computer decided to get all sulky on me (jealous?) and not accept the cf card so that I could edit said picture and upload it. So. The picture will be there when this note isn't.

A good argument for not cleaning those icky fast food condiment packages from your car:
Man saved by condiments:
A man trapped for nearly a week in his car after it plunged into a ravine survived in the freezing cold by burning paper, melting snow for water and eating packets of fast-food sauce, rescuers say.
[via Davezilla]

I've written over 50 Christmas cards so far.

I think I put the wrong return address on all of them.

Doh.

Pet Peeve O' the Day: people who mispronounce Ghirardelli.

It starts with a hard 'g', folks. Yes, really.

Lessons learned last night:
Sometimes it's not a bad thing to miss the bus. Especially when you've left your keys at your desk.
Don't leave your keys on your desk.
Shopping during the holiday season isn't the nightmare it's made out to be. Just make sure you wear good shoes or you'll be the one in a bad mood, not the employees or fellow shoppers. Not to mention the hobbling the next day. I really need to see a doctor about this.
9 out of 10 employees I dealt with last night were in really good moods. I was happy to see this.
It's f**ing hard to find a shiny red shirt nowadays. Or at least one that's not in a peasant pattern, $200+, or made to fit on a stick figure.
It's hard to see someone dealing with the disappointment of finding out someone else isn't who they thought they were. Harder still when they're both your siblings.

Lessons learned this morning:
I can leave my home at 6:55 a.m. and still be at work on time.
Making tea can lead to making friends, especially in a cube environment populated by introverts.
Choose your holiday decorator with care, or you'll end up with seizure-inducing flashing lights all over the office.

Oh, and three hours of walking around department stores can lead to flu-like symptoms the next day. I really hope I'm not getting sick.

Monday, December 9

I got a rosemary tree last night for as my Christmas tree. Then we went and had chicken and steak for dinner, the main seasoning of which was copious copious amounts of - you guessed it - rosemary.

For the rest of the evening, chickens danced in my head as I strung the little tree with lights and found ornaments small enough to fit. It was a little crowded in there.

Wow, whatta weekend. Got almost everything on my list done ... at least they were the important items. And I had fun too.

Tonight, looking for something shiny and red for the company Christmas party on Saturday. You know, to match my nose.

And it rained so hard on my walk from the bus stop to work this morning that my hair was soaked through. This is a good thing.

Happy Monday!

Friday, December 6

When saying things like "I have gotten a call all day" on a Friday, 10 minutes before the end of your shift, it's simply not enough to knock on particle board. You need real wood for those kinds of statements.

Our desks are made of particle board.

Having another one of those days when it feels like everyone's looking at me.

I think today I'll take it as a compliment.

Happy Friday!!
I put the milk of human kindness in my coffee; now it is dark and bitter, like my heart. -Billegible
A Day in the Life of My Mouth [as Kevin says, not my mouth, somebody else's]

Thursday, December 5

One word: Hot.

Today's Word of the Day: booboisie \boob-wah-ZEE\, noun: A class of people regarded as stupid or foolish.

Hmm... I wonder what they're really trying to say.

Continuing the quoting ...
Robert Posner of the Literary Review said Perriam's book stood out from the rest because "they had never before heard of pin-striped genitalia", although he admitted the committee of judges were confused as to what it actually meant.
Third time 'lucky' for bad sex winner (Official award site)
[via Kevin]

Wednesday, December 4

"I'd be all like, 'what's up now, creationist bitch!'"

"And he'd be all like, 'Dude, I totally believe God made dudes out of clay, and the earth is only 4400 years old.'"

-"Thoughts that Crossed My Mind While Taking the October 6th LSAT"
[via RileyDog]

My horoscope:
Don't let your genitals do the decision making this week.
That's probably good advice most of the time.

I need some sort of deal where I get to pay less for travelling to Texas. Why? Because I have to go there so frickin' much!!! Why can some people get to eastern Europe for less than it's going to cost me to go to Dallas?!?! Oh yeah, Priceline makes you do things to get tickets like those. Things I'm not willing to do.

*sigh* I think my friends and family have to get out of that darned state anyway, so I can see some other parts of the country.

Random compliments from complete strangers are a nice way to begin the day. It pretty much makes up for missing a train by 5 seconds and showing up to work half an hour late.

Tuesday, December 3

It's a sad state of affairs when you try to avoid lines and work for the post office by buying stamps online, and there's a "technical error" that prevents you from doing so.

Looks like I'll be spending my lunch hour standing in line tomorrow.

I just realized that I am living in my third separate apartment since this time last year. Wrong, so wrong.

By the way, does anyone know of a tree farm or other tree vendor who sells small live pine trees in the SF bay area? And an important second question: do you know where I could plant the darn thing after Christmas?

Monday, December 2

Whachou gonna do with a cowboy when he don't saddle up and ride away?

By the way, I have officially stopped looking at my wishlist until next month.

Go ahead, you can buy me something anytime you like, and I won't know about it till it arrives on my doorstep!

Apparently, there are 1153 dentists within a 15 mile radius of my apartment who all speak English.

How am I to choose?

Well, I had a nice weekend. And my kitchen is entirely unpacked. Not entirely put away, but at least the boxes are gone and I can walk in there unhindered.

And a good friend helped me set up my desk so that I appear to be all geeky and stuff. Just need a few more adapters and then I can reduce the amount of hardware that is currently taking up too much space.

And most of my plants survived the weekend. Yay!