Be your own Disneyland.

Friday, February 28

I've got time for one post today. I think it's going to be ...

Why you should fall to your knees and worship a librarian. Yeah, that means you, buster.

Thursday, February 27

Via Leila:
"It's times like these when it becomes clear how much I need to learn to speak cat."
Along the same lines, in the course of my job supporting products that are sold globally, we often have to converse (usually in email, thankfully) with people who begin the conversation in their native language. Our standard responses have already been translated into French and Spanish and are stored in general email folders for all to use. However, when we have to move beyond the standard responses, then things can get interesting. We've been instructed to use sites like FreeTranslation and Babel Fish, but even I can tell that the results are less than ideal. Case in point:
Could you write me in english?. I can't understand your message in spanish, is horribilis!
Well, he speaks better English than I do Spanish, that's for sure.

Wednesday, February 26

I have a friend who moved to England last month. He's learning all sorts of things, like English jokes:

A Duck walks into a bar and says to the Barman "Got any bread?"
Barman says: "No."
Duck says: "Got any bread?"
Barman says: "No."
Duck says: "Got any bread?"
Barman says: "No, we have no bread."
Duck says: "Got any bread?"
Barman says: "No, we haven't got any bread."
Duck says: "Got any bread?"
Barman says: "No, are you deaf? We haven't got any f**king bread! Ask me again and I'll nail your f**king beak to the bar you irritating bast**d bird!"
Duck says: "Got any nails?"
Barman says: "No."
Duck says: "Got any bread?

Two things:

I have 4 fillings, as of 6:45 last night. One of them is upsetting my bite and I can't help but notice it every time my teeth connect.

I made ginger cookies and Alaska Molasses cookies for my party this last weekend. Both have ginger, cinnamon, cloves and molasses in them. Since Saturday night, the smell of them has gotten stronger and stronger. In fact, the brownies that have shared the plate with them have taken on their taste - spicy brownies. I brought them all in for my co-workers this morning and had to move them from one platter to another. Now I can smell my hands even when they're far enough away from my face to type. At least they smell good.

Tuesday, February 25

Someone informed me recently that I am the clumsiest person he has ever known. Personally, I think he needs to get out more.

Granted, I do repeat to myself rather often that I'm ok, that my inability to hold on to things like knives, phones, shoes, etc and avoid large objects like walls and cars and tables and such is something that many people have as well, and I'm not weird. I'm not, I'm not, I'M NOT! Well, not in that way, anyway.

But sometimes, it's worse than other times. This is when I feel clumsy not only on the outside, but also on the inside, which makes the insecurity just all the more unbearable.

Today is one of those days. I can't seem to do anything right.

I can't do Bay to Breakers this year because of my injured feet, but I'm sure you can. Sign up now, it's for a good cause, it's only 7.5 miles, and really, it's the only reason to get up early on a Sunday.

Sunday, May 18, 8 am; Financial District at Howard & Spear Streets;
$27 per person before 4/15;
$32 per person 4/16-5/15;
$22 kids under 18 before 4/15;
$27 kids under 18 4/16-5/15.

I might pay the money for the registration just to get a t-shirt!

Monday, February 24

It's one of those days when I look more like Farah Fawcett than Jennifer Aniston, I tell ya. I just pulled all my hair back and pinned up the bangs 'cause they were driving me friggin' nuts!!

In other news, I know I said I'd stop pushing SXSW, but if you're going and you're interested, Brad is taking requests to attend his Breaking Bread with Brad dinner.

Notes from the weekend:

I can't tell you how happy I am that the daffodils are in bloom along highway 280.

Spending an afternoon at a baby shower with a group of women who are either currently pregnant or have been pregnant within the last few years is good birth control for the rest of us.

Target is great for last-minute gift purchases. Best for when you know exactly what you want.

My friends, each and every one of them, totally rock. I'm glad that most of them could make it to my party on Saturday.

I'm sad, though, that they didn't take more leftovers with them. My co-workers are more than happy about it, however, as they're benefitting from the chocolate cake, cheesecake, and cookies and brownies. If I was ambitious enough, I'd bring the fondue in as well.

Yes, there was fondue at the party I where I wanted no fondue. That's ok, though. It was a big hit.

And I apologize to anyone who suffered because I lost my sense of humor from Thursday-Saturday and couldn't seem to find it, no matter where I looked. I finally found it late Saturday evening, stuck behind one of the cushions on the couch. From now on, all parties are potluck.

I did NOTHING yesterday and it was wonderful. Got up late, never really got out of my pj's or bothered to shower. Read a book, watched two movies and ate some popcorn. My feet are thankful.

Friday, February 21

I'm throwing a party tomorrow. I have done nothing so far except conceptualize about preparations. My feet hurt.


Thursday, February 20

The Kick! site is up and running with its very own blog!

Are you going to SXSW this year? You really should, just for the social aspects, if not for the conference. Austin is a great town, and the natives and the visitors are great. Other fun events, in no particular order:

Breaking Bread with Brad, the real kickoff to the whole shindig
20x2, this year's question: What are you waiting for?
Fray Cafe, this year, there'll be enough room for everybody
The Web Awards (not to be confused with the Bloggies, which promises soap opera-style excitement), where we can watch Mr. Styn do his thang

And the best? Ernie doing karaoke.

I think that's about it... I'm sure someone will be throwing a party somewhere and everyone will be invited, as well as roaming groups of web geeks wandering around doing ... geeky things. It's fun. It's fabulous (as are the people you'll meet).

Ok, I've done my part now. Go get some plane tix and some hotel reservations. If you need any help, the folks over at SXSWblog can help you out.

Best Line Actually Heard On The Phone By A Real Live Person All Month: "There it is, as large as life and twice as handsome."

She had a few more lines, but I wasn't quick enough to write them down. It's people like that who make customer service gigs worth all the pain.

Riding a high point of the emotional rollercoaster - today is a great day!!*

* no, there isn't any reason for this feeling, seeing as how it's way too early to gauge the day; I was running late this morning and didn't have time to brush my teeth; and my back hurts ... still, it's a great day!

Wednesday, February 19

Bored? Watch this. No, I don't get tired of them. [via Spinning-Jennie]

Although the words and their etymologies and uses are fascinating, what I like most about my daily email from Wordsmith are the quotes. Today's:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. -Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. general and 34th president (1890-1969)

How is it possible that it's already near the end of February?? Didn't we just celebrate the new year??

So my project this week is watching a movie called Atanarjuat, or The Fast Runner. It's the first movie ever filmed entirely in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit indians people.

It's filmed like a documentary, with none of the polish of a Hollywood, or even a Bollywood movie. The actors are not actors - they look at the camera a lot and often seem confused about what they are supposed to do next. There's a lot of unintentional silence and even when they're talking, not everything gets translated.

Even so, it's not a documentary - it's a very good (albeit very slooooowwww - did I mention it's 3 hours long?) story about two brothers, one of whom falls in love with a woman promised to a man nobody likes, and the revenge that ends up hurting everyone. And in the process, you learn a lot about these people who choose to live in a place where it's sunny 6 months out of the year and dark the other 6 months, and who use every single thing around them to live in that environment.

Best line so far: "When trying to lift a heavy rock, imagine it is a woman's butt (appropriate hand gestures here) and you can lift it!"

Tuesday, February 18

Could it be? Is it possible?

I'm thinking my bad mood (as evidenced by my previous post) might have been the result of not enough food. Thinking back, I remember that I had a small bowl of mac and cheese for dinner, followed by two cookies, and then a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of tea for breakfast. Now, after a substantial lunch provided by one of my favorite restaurants, I'm in an unusually good mood.

On the other hand, it could have been the fresh air. We'll never know. Just be thankful.

UPDATE: It has been suggested as more likely the stimulating company and conversation enjoyed at lunch. I'll buy that. Yup.

So much to do!! I should not have gone to see the sun set and then stayed at home and watched a movie last night, although it helped the panicy feeling I was suffering from yesterday. I don't feel panicy today, just very very pressured. And I have a headache, which I don't usually suffer from, so naturally it's the worst thing in the world and no one has ever felt as bad as I do now. Ack. Poor me.

On another note, I talked to a friend last night who validated all my feelings about online dating. Not that it's a bad thing in and of itself. After all, I'm going to a baby shower this weekend for a friend of mine who is having twins after marrying the man she met through an internet personal ad. She's happy, and I'm happy for her. And I've known others who have been just as satisfied by the experience, although none of them have ended up with twins.

But it's not for me. I'd like to meet someone doing things I like to do (what are those? I'll let you know when I find out) in the normal course of my day, yadda yadda yadda. Like it's ever going to happen.

Truth is, most of my dating experience comes from the time when I worked at in customer service jobs and when I was in college. Now I work in a cube and then go home at night. I have a social life, but it involves hanging out with my friends at restaurants and bars, and that's not really a conducive environment to meet someone romantically, no matter what people tell you. At least for me. Oh well. I'm sure it'll all work itself out in the end. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the single life. Really, I am. Shut up.

Bleh. How did I get on this subject? My brain hurts.

Monday, February 17

I'm having some sort of mild panic attack and I haven't a clue what it's about. I don't like it.

Does the sense that the day is moving by at a snail's pace have anything to do with this?

How sacrilegious is it to put that Ricky Martin cd in the Lyle Lovitt cd case?

So the weekend was ... interesting. Change is in the air, and it's one of those things that you can only accept and deal with. And no, I'm not talking about turning 31 either.

Other than that, we had a nice dinner Friday night with the family and some friends ... on Saturday my mom bought me some expensive shoes as part of my foot therapy and then I went to dinner with some friends who couldn't make it to the party the night before ... then yesterday I got to visit with my grandma and hear the news that has changed me more than I thought it would, and it didn't even happen to me.

Still dealing, obviously.

How was your Valentine's Day/three-day weekend?

Friday, February 14

Needless to say, I've been out of touch since leaving work yesterday at 4 and have only now logged on to find all the happy birthday wishes and e-cards and such.

Thank you all for your happy wishes. It's been a really nice day and now I'm here with (most of) my family I wish you the best darn Friday ever!

Thursday, February 13

It's my Friday, so I feel entitled to pass along some funnies:

My Name is Blanket [via Steve]

The horror of blimps [warning: content is work-safe, but may induce extreme giggling which in itself is not particularly work-safe, via Kevin]

Tomorrow's my birthday.

I've heard that when the phone company gives you a phone number, it should have been out of service for at least 6 months. Key term that: should have.

My current outgoing voicemail message goes thusly:
Hi, you've reached XXX XXX XXXX. If you're trying to reach Lorraine or PetCo, this is no longer their number and it's ok to hang up right now*. However, if you're trying to reach me, I can't come to the phone right now, so leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
*I have to put the "hang up now" part in, because when I first got this number, someone was waiting till the outgoing message had ended before realizing that he wasn't getting Lorraine or Petco before hanging up, making me feel very loved until I realized that the 20 voicemails I had were all hangups. Fucker.

This strategy, however, does not protect me from calls I get when I'm home. Recent telephone conversation:
Me: Hello?
Person With Out-Of-Date Phone Book: Is this Petco?
Me: No, it's not.
Me: Yes, it is.
PWOODPB: Is this Petco?
Me: ... (audible snicker)
PWOODPB: Uh, it says here in the phone book that this is the number for Petco.
Me: Then you have a really out of date phone book.
Me: Ok, bye.

It is so much easier to work when the tools you need work. I've been having this thought all week.

Wednesday, February 12

Feeling: energetic
Anticipating: going Home this weekend
Wanting: a full-time cook
Needing: to change the tires on my truck
Loving: the furniture arrangement in my apartment
Liking a lot: friends who make me feel needed
Astonished by: what my friends are describing to me
Constantly: astonished
Experiencing: foot pain
Having: a bad hair day week month

What can I say? When it's good, I'm not that interesting.

So my life is going great, which naturally means that the lives of my friends are falling apart. Can't we all be on the same page at the same time?

Tuesday, February 11

For me: The Women's Building (a donating possibility)

Lessons learned:

Caffeine = bad.

Moving furniture on a whim = bad for the back, good for the soul.

Crossword puzzles = good for relaxing after an icky day (and too much caffeine), especially if you can manage to finish two of them. Comics on the facing page don't hurt either.

Monday, February 10

If you ever have the opportunity to see a Cirque du Soleil show, go. Doesn't matter how much it costs, just go. Jish, JessaJune and her boyfriend, and I went to see Varekai on Saturday and ... wow. That's all I have to say - and it's just about all I said throughout the show - wow.

So I found out Saturday morning that while I have my phone service through Pacific Bell (SBC, whatever), and my internet service through SBC (Pacific Bell, whatever), when I move in November and notify PacBC of my change of billing address, SBell doesn't necessarily get the 411.

Which is why I have no internet at home. It's one thing to resolve to spend less time on the computer and not blog so much, it's an altogether different thing to not be able to blog, or find out what's going on with your friends (short of actually picking up a phone, gasp).

There were lots of things I wanted to post here this weekend, but my short term memory is shot so I don't remember many of them. I do remember one thing though: the phone company's hold music was very exciting. I got everything from classical to Styx.

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.

Friday, February 7

*ahem* My birthday is a week from today. Yay!

I got a package from Amazon last night, but it was something I bought for myself. I am now the proud owner of a 256 MB cf card and the CTHD soundtrack.

Thursday, February 6

Best Site Name/Tagline of the Day: Bacon, Cheese and Oatcakes: Because all the best things in life are either immoral, illegal or fattening.

On my mind: what to give up for Lent this year, and what sort of exercise regime I can start that doesn't involve the use of my feet.

Wednesday, February 5

Edmond is being asked for the dates of the weekends he plans to visit and be visited by his exotic Canadian girlfriend.

His readers are advocating giving his employers a lot more information than they're asking for. After all, if they feel entitled to the details of his personal life, then they should have *all* the details.

So I'm in charge of giving a party in a few weeks and I'm coming up empty in the cool party ideas department.

Have you been to any good parties? What was it that made it cool? (Please do not include fondue - I've been to enough fondue parties to last me a looong long time).

In a case of "oh right, what were we thinking?", Verisign claims that "if a forthcoming decision by the court goes the wrong way it 'would cripple the Internet and jeopardize the national economic benefit for e-commerce'. It would also 'threaten all Internet registrars' survival'." [article link via Textism]

Resolution update:

So I went to the dentist last night.

Good: the cleaning, after at least 7 years of no professional attention at all, took much less time than I thought it would. Bad: although the dental hygienist kept putting a topical anesthetic on my gums, it only seemed to affect my lips and tongue. I could still feel every poke and jab she made at my gums to scrape the tartar/plaque off my teeth (which apparently lived only below the gum line) and it hurt! Good: I got a flouride rinse, which I'm told will help prevent more plaque from getting to the hard-to-reach parts for a while. Bad: it damaged my taste buds. Dinner and breakfast were decidedly bland and unsatisfying affairs.

Oh, and the balls comment below? It's part of the physical therapy for my feet problem - I went out and bought new tennis balls last night and the plastic smell is really obnoxious. Especially first thing in the morning.

My balls smell.

Tuesday, February 4

So I called a podiatrist yesterday to make an appointment about some foot pain I've been experiencing for, oh, about 8 months. They said the earliest time they could get me in was March 14th. I thought that after having waited so long to see someone in the first place, a little longer wouldn't matter so much, but the prospect of having a resource and not being able to take advantage of it for over another month was extremely distressing.

So imagine my delight when I got off work last night (an hour early!!!) and they called me just as I came off the Bay Bridge to ask if I could come in right then. I went in, stripped my feet (and swung them around a lot as I went through all the excuses I could come up with for why they were in the condition they were) and had them examined.

Turns out I have Plantar Fasciitis. Not a heel spur, just damage to the Plantar Fascia. Recovery is going to take 3-6 months, super-advanced equipment like a tennis ball and a bag of frozen peas, and several pairs of new shoes.

My parents have been racking their brains trying to come up with a good gift for my birthday. I think a shopping trip with my mom will be the perfect solution for everyone.

Tonight? The dentist!!

My brother wrote to say that he had just looked at some of the photos on this site and my related commentary and that we'd have a talk when he came home for my birthday in a few weeks.

I wonder what else he'll discover when he takes the time to find out.

Monday, February 3

They're 12. They're real. They're eating beef.

Check out the sponsor at the bottom, the ages of the girls who are apparently obsessed with their weight and health, and then look at the snack ideas. Especially since beef hormones have been linked to premature onset of puberty and breast cancer.

Gross. [via Monkeyfarts]

The Adventures of Pretentious Vegan Woman [via God of the Machine]

First day of my new schedule and I am tired. I went to bed early and everything last night! but I didn't sleep well and it was much harder than expected to be out of bed by 5:30 this morning.

But I am so looking forward to leaving here at 4 today and because I missed the sunset by 5 minutes yesterday, I'm determined to see it tonight. If the sunrise is any indication, it's gonna be a beauty.

Sunday, February 2

In the wake of the lastest disaster, after talking to my mom and hearing how, after watching the shuttle explode for the 20th time in an hour, she was so depressed it was hard to move, Melissa and I have decided that the answer to the word's troubles is to ignore the news altogether. It may be informative and give you something to talk about with people you would otherwise have nothing in common with, but as time goes on, cynicism and depression set in, and you forget that with all the bad stuff that is pushed at you all the time there are a lot of good things happening in the world as well.

Remember, it's not as bad as you think. Really, no matter what CNN says.

Columbia is lost. For someone who has seen so many disasters on tv (among the many, Challenger and the World Trade Center are the two that come to mind immediately), it almost surprises me that this can bring tears to my eyes.

NOTE: seems I'm not alone. Kevin F is experiencing the same thing.

Saturday, February 1

Rabbit rabbit! I remembered this month. And bonus! It's my birth month.

Which reminds me ... two Fridays from now, and I'll be a whole year older. Yay!

And I've changed my work schedule so that I go in and leave an hour earlier. I've been thinking it over for weeks now, wondering if I'd really like it. Well, now that it's arranged, even though I haven't started yet, I'm so excited about it. I'll only have to get up half an hour earlier, but I'll have an hour and a half more sunlight at the end of the day!! I feel like summer has suddenly arrived, and even though here in California it's been like summer since .... well, since last summer, the raise in mood is noticeable even to me. That, along with a few other developments lately, are making me think that I'll be on a good path this year. Damn skippy.