December 2005 archive

(30 entries)

December 29, 2005

Fragile? Must be Italian.

Hey, guess what? Christmas happened. And then it happened and then it happened again. All in all, I went to five different Christmas parties/celebrations between the 24th and 26th. I have finished most of my post-Christmas shopping and am now at the point of collapsing with illness. HACK HACK GAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. Happy New Year to come, if I am not in the blogosphere before then!

srah | 12:13 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Tags: holidays

Reptilian? Check. And yet something is missing...

Me: I'm a velociraptor!
Apete: (shakes his head in disbelief) You can't open doors!

Well, I thought it was funny. And it's not like there's anything else being blogged around here. VAY-CAY!

srah | 12:07 PM | TrackBack
Tags: apete

December 23, 2005

If we change to inline comments, the terrorists have won!

I'm getting spammed again. When it's a few comments a day, it's okay, but when I get, like 100 in 15 minutes, it's a bit more worrisome. It has happened in the past that I get so many spam comments that it overloads my host's servers and they disable scripts on my account, meaning that Real People can't leave comments. As a temporary fix, I have changed the names of my scripts (this won't affect you at all unless I've done it wrong!), but I am starting to consider moving to inline comments (where you would click on the 'blah blahs' link and it would take you to the individual entry page's comments section) rather than popups. I've always preferred the convenience of popups, but desperate times call for desperate housewives or something. As I say, I've fixed things for now, but I suppose this is a heads-up that things might change in the future.

srah | 11:00 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack
Tags:

December 21, 2005

Here's a meme now I'm going to go watch movies and NOT WRAP PRESENTS

You get one wish of anything, what would you ask for?
Infinity more wishes

Wish for 6 more wishes.
1. Infinity happiness with Mr apete who I wish would call me but is busy working, sigh.
2. Infinity cherries, yum.
4. Infinity -- did I mention that I had a margarita after work with co-workers this evening? -- Infinity warm socks and infinity closet space to store them in
5. Infinity isn't an adjective and I recognize this, but... margarita. Um, world peace?
6. Meet some nice people in town. But not infinity of them, because just think of all the time it would take to write Christmas cards!

What animal would you be?
A grand and glorious rainbow-colored dolphin, like something out of a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper. God, I hate Lisa Frank.

Something you want to do in your life:
Advise a lot of students and be happy about it, maybe get a doctorate (infinity years from now, not any time soon!), get married and have some chilluns.

One song you could listen to over and over again:
I enjoy being a boy. Oops, I mean I Enjoy Being a Boy. I only say this because I have been listening to it over and over again this evening. You can download it for free, but you have to register!

Coke or Pepsi?
Cokeles.

Something you currently desire:
I wish that the blanket were on my lap instead of being all lumpy in a pile under my butt. However will I remedy this situation? HOW? It seems as though there is no end to my suffering.

One good deed you’ve done lately:
Uh oh. I left a more-than-twenty-percent tip at the restaurant, but I often do that. Um... I took some carrot cake off the hands of a co-worker who's on a diet?

A funny moment in your life:
This isn't very funny, but I went shopping this weekend for something to make for our office potluck on Monday. I bought salad fixin's and muffin mix and muffin papers, then went home, opened the mix, poured it into the bowl, added milk, combined until the mix was "moistened," opened the cabinet and realized I DON'T OWN A MUFFIN TIN. I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me until that point. Stumped on what to get me for Christmas? Apparently I don't own muffin tins, full-sized or mini.

I tag:
No one! But you may do it if you'd like.

[via misanthropic tendencies]

srah | 7:39 PM | TrackBack
Tags:

Look at the stars/ Look how they shine for you

I usually forget about yellow underwear until after Christmas, but somehow this year I am prepared in advance. Every year, my friends and I give each other gifts of yellow underwear so that we can start the New Year off right in Peruvian/Venezuelan fashion and have good luck throughout the next year. So be like us and go out and buy some yellow underwear for your friends!

On second thought, don't. I don't think anyone's bought mine yet, and I don't want you folks to pick over the selection so that I get stuck with Spongebob.

srah | 8:11 AM | TrackBack
Tags: holidays, luck, new year, tradition, underwear

December 20, 2005

Touch the puppet head!

Why doesn't They Might Be Giants' online store sell mousepads saying "Memo to myself: Do the dumb things I gotta do"? Or notepads or any products with that line, for that matter?

I am stuffing envelopes today. It has to be done, and it's a nice break from all the other things I gotta do.

Note to TMBG fans: There are new Venue Songs videos on the website and a free podcast available on iTunes. That makes it a very good year for dodecahedrons in a state of wanton uncertainty.

srah | 2:58 PM | TrackBack
Tags: music, they might be giants, work

Who... dey?

I went shopping on Sunday, as I am wont to do but don't want to do¹. At 4pm, every television in the mall turned to the Bengals game. I don't just mean that they turned to the game in electronics stores or in bar/grills within the malls. I mean that when I was taking a break from the Hell That Is Holiday Shopping (and Gaucho Pants) by playing I'm Going To Buy This For You/Shopping For a Dress For a Wedding I Already Went To in the formalwear section in Dillards, the TVs in that section that usually show music videos had been turned to football, and moms and cashiers were watching the game while the daughters tried on semi-formal dresses.

This is a weird state. I don't recall ever seeing anything like that happen in Michigan, but then again... Lions.

In other football news, because I am everso knowledgeable about sports, Sunday's Family Circus reveals that God is a Packers fan.

–––––
¹ When I say those, they're pretty much homophones. How about you?

srah | 12:14 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Tags: bengals, cincinnati, comics, football, ohio, sports

The world is not sufficiently marshmallowy this winter

Dear Nestlé,

You so stupid¹! Marshmallows and hot chocolate must be in separate packages, so that when you stir the hot chocolate, you do not disturb the marshmallows. When you disturb the marshmallows, they melt and look like little maggots floating atop the steaming mug of brownness. That is, quite simply, just not right.

Not that resemblance to maggots usually prevents me from drinking things.

–––––
¹ NOTHING! NOTHING is in the box!

srah | 12:06 PM | TrackBack
Tags: food

December 19, 2005

The Year in Review

Here we are again in December. The end of another year! So let's take a look back at the first and last posts of each month of 2005:

srah | 12:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Tags: holidays

Unconscious Mutterings

Here they are, this week's free associations, with a special appearance by everyone's favorite Fashion Disaster Of the Week.

srah | 12:39 PM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

December 18, 2005

Tip me over and pour me out

Dear Meijer's Cashier,

Awww, isn't that teenagedboyish of you, to feel that a box of tampons have to go in their own separate bag, away from any of the other products I bought. I assure you, they don't have cooties.

It was only mildly amusing and wouldn't have warranted a blog post if it weren't for the fact that the next bag you packed contained a five-pound bag of sugar, a half-gallon of milk, two bags of salad and a package of bagels. I think one of my arms is longer than the other now.

srah | 9:22 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
Tags: groceries, open letters

Just say ¡No!

There is only one thing that I hate more than shopping this weekend, and that thing is GAUCHO PANTS.

srah | 11:23 AM | TrackBack
Tags: fashion

December 16, 2005

You know you're not from Ohio when...

... you see a special-printed Coke can with "Go Bucks" written on it and wonder why a Milwaukee basketball team¹ are advertising down here.

–––––
¹Note to naysayers and croakers: Look! I knew the mascot of a professional basketball team! Do you respect me yet?

srah | 11:11 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Tags: ohio, ohio state university, sports

Set a course for adventures... in doctoring!

During the credits for House, the background picture changes for every cast member's name. Every time I watch the credits, I wonder if they mean something. I'm probably looking too deep into this, but I have the same thought every time I see them. Let's review:

  • House: Picture of a brain. He's the brains of the operation
  • Cuddy: Blood vessels. She's the... life blood or something.
  • Foreman: Lungs. He, uh, breathes new life into the team.
  • Wilson: Another brain. He's... um, another brain.
  • Cameron: Boats. Oooooh, BOATS!!! Look at the pitty boats!
  • Chase: Spine. Because... he has a spine or something.

What the heck is up with the boats? Why does everyone else get body parts? She would have made a good appendix.

srah | 10:14 PM | TrackBack
Tags: house, tv

'Til I saw your City Lights, honey I was blind

Boy, it's getting to be Sarah's Movie Blog around here. But that's because I have no life. Onward and upward!

This week, I checked a passel of DVDs out of the library. Once I got them home, however, I was loath to sit down and watch them because I had managed to check out two Charlie Chaplin movies at the same time. This meant that I could allow myself to check out no new movies until I had managed to stomach those two. So I immediately sat down and watched Tootsie, which I've already seen, and It's a Wonderful Life, which I've already seen. Both were very good and once again, I cried pretty much the whole way through It's a Wonderful Life. What the heck is wrong with me?

With those two out of the way, it was time to buckle down and continue working my way through the Top 100. So I stalled off the inevitable by watching a war movie.

#55: The Jazz Singer - I watched this on Sunday, before checking out my passel of DVDs. It was fine. A bit contrived, but having seen Singin' in the Rain, I wasn't expecting a lot from that era... mostly a lot of "Oh Pierre! You shouldn't have come!". The story was pretty good, but I can't get over how long silent movies are, or at least feel. At least with all-talkies you can get up and walk over to the kitchen and follow the story based on the dialogue. When all of the dialogue is on title cards and you're trying to make popcorn, you miss a lot. (The Jazz Singer is often called the first talkie, but although Al Jolson speaks a few lines and does a lot of synchronous singing, most of the dialogue is still in the form of title cards. It wasn't even the first to have synchronous sound - it was probably just the first talking picture that was actually a hit.)

#56: All Quiet on the Western Front - It was very good in parts and very slow and boring in parts. I just don't like fighting scenes. War and "action" are mostly just boring for me. I want character development. I want to see emotional pain, not physical pain. AQOTWF had some of each, but it was a matter of waiting through the battle scenes to see the interesting action in the trenches. The sound quality was also terrible, which detracted from the viewing. All in all, it wasn't bad, but I felt like getting up and making a sandwich every once in a while.

#57: The Gold Rush - What could be worse than a silent Chaplin film? How about a remastered silent Chaplin film with the titlecards removed and Charlie Chaplin narrating! As if it weren't bad enough watching Charlie Chaplin trudge through the snow, you get Charlie Chaplin helpfully informing you that "The Little Fellow" is trudging through the snow! Thanks for that, Charlie. I wouldn't have known, otherwise, because I HAVE NO EYES. Ugh ugh ugh. The AFI ranked this at 74, above City Lights and Modern Times. I would have ranked it at 1,000,074, because it was awful.

#58: City Lights - City Lights was everything that The Gold Rush was not. I still don't understand how The Gold Rush could be ranked so high. Was it the stupid dancing rolls scene? There was nothing of value in that movie! I need to stop harping on that one and start talking about City Lights, but I think that part of what made City Lights so good was that I'd just seen The Gold Rush. The Gold Rush seemed to be a collection of gags assembled into a movie ("Wouldn't it be funny if they ate a boot?" "What if the chair were on fire?" "What if the house were on a cliff? Ha ha ha, priceless!"), whereas the gags in City Lights actually contributed to the story or the character development. Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for a romance, but I actually liked this movie.

I would also like to point out that I kept a tally and in City Lights, the Little Tramp:

  • sleeps with a man
  • makes flirty googly eyes at a man
  • has a man's hand down his shorts
  • is kissed by a man
  • kisses a man

It's like friggin' Brokeback Mountain all up in this joint!

srah | 9:01 PM | TrackBack
Tags: afi, movies

Remake à la srah: The witch and the wardrobe

Last weekend I went home to see the UMGASS performance of The Sorcerer, attended a lovely SI party and went to the movies. I haven't been to the movies in Ohio yet, because I have no one to go with and a host of lovely old classics to check out of the library and watch at home. So I go back to Ann Arbor to go to the movies.

On Saturday night, I tore myself away from It's a Wonderful Life (which was showing on TV and which I was flat-out sobbing while watching because I was so emotionally affected by everything that happened to poor George Bailey) to go see The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. SPOILERS AHEAD:

I think that going into the movies, I had fonder memories of the book than I did coming out. The movie emphasized the parts of the book that bored me (fight scenes, anything involving the pain-in-the-neck Aslan) and glossed over the parts that I remember liking (the kids discovering Narnia, enstonèd creatures destoning, Lucy healing people on the battlefield). I also found the White Witch's relationship with Edmund rather disturbing (I was much younger when I read the book, but I remember it as more of a maternal or queen-subject relationship than this creepy possible pedophile-seduction act). I was disappointed that the focus was on Edmund and his when the book's focus had been on Lucy.

I was also frustrated with Aslan. All the recent press about TLTWATW being a "Christian" movie put me on my guard, having never noticed a Christian subtext when I read the books as a child (I was too young to know what a subtext was, anyway). I found myself watching Aslan and going "Nuh-uh! That's not like Christ! Nuh-uh, Jesus never did that!" I'm sure if I had read the books recently, I would remember why the heck everyone in Narnia thinks Aslan's so great. I thought he was a pompous know-it-all myself, and he kind of just showed up, died and came back to life. What was the point?

Complaining aside, it wasn't a bad movie. I'm not going to rush out and buy the DVD, but I don't feel like I wasted my time watching it. It was very beautiful and the CGI was well done. I'm just better at nitpicking than appreciating the good things about a movie!

srah | 7:55 PM | TrackBack
Tags: movies, the lion the witch and the wardrobe

I am the monster that breathing men would kill! Lucky me!

Everyone on the Internet is discovering this new online face-recognition software, so I thought I would give it a try.

Attempt#1: Flattering.

She is very pretty and got to make out with Jean-Louis Trintignant when he was young and good-looking. I have had the "tra la la la la la la la la la la la la" theme from Un homme et une femme in my head since I found out that the Intarnets think I look like her. (So far I haven't created any alternate lyrics.)

Attempt #2: Not quite so flattering.

Vampire? Futuristic space-villain? Escaped prisoner-slash-dogman? Mmmm, there are a host of roles I could play with these looks!

srah | 12:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Tags: discovered

December 15, 2005

Dream

I dreamt earlier this week that I worked with Tony Danza, who was very frustrated and unhappy that people (including me) kept accusing him of being a player. "That's my character on TV," he would whine. "I am a very nice guy in real life, if only people would take the time to get to know me. But no, they think they know what I'm like."

Sorry, Tony.

srah | 9:02 AM | TrackBack
Tags: dream

December 14, 2005

It's like Weird Al threw up in my brain

Songs that I have had in my head so far this morning:

  1. Surrey with the Fringe on Top (alternate lyrics)
  2. Flintstones theme song (alternate lyrics)
  3. Jingle Bells (alternate lyrics)

srah | 7:40 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Tags: music

December 12, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings

Here you go, memely meme-meme.

srah | 9:42 PM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

'Tis the season of yuletide amnesia

Just think of it!, thinks srah, Egg nog! It sounds so delicious and seasonal! Then she goes out and buys for her candy dish at work a holiday variety pack of tasty chocolates in egg nog, cinnamon almond and peppermint flavors. Which shall I sample first? ponders srah the simpleton. She takes a dainty nibble of an egg nog flavored chocolate and suddenly has no desire to eat anything ever again, for her taste buds have been tainted by the horror that is The Nog.

Christmas comes but once a year, and fortunately, so does egg nog. Unfortunately, I never seem to remember how much I hate it.

srah | 5:02 PM | TrackBack
Tags: christmas, egg nog, food, holidays

December 9, 2005

srah's latest project: watch a hellalotta movies

When I moved here, one of the first things I did was to join the local library. The DVD/video section is just across from the circulation desk and is much more compact than the book section, so the first thing I did was to check out DVDs. They have a list of The American Film Institute's 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time posted on the wall, and this (and the fact that apete's already done it) inspired me to take a shot at watching all 100. It's going to involve watching a lot of westerns, gangster films and war movies, but it's good to get out of your comfort zone (as any good study abroad advisor will tell you).

When I first looked at the list, I counted 47 movies that I'd seen. This counts movies that I saw several years ago but doesn't count movies I've only seen parts of (so I'll actually have to sit all the way through A Clockwork Orange and - although I think I've seen the whole thing in parts - I'll have to rewatch The Godfather). I hope this number's correct, because I've been counting my progress based on that.

I am the worst movie reviewer ever ("It was good. You should see it.", "It was dumb.") but I figure if I write one-paragraph reviews for several movies at a time, it will look like I'm writing more. Here goes:

#48: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner - I looked at the list and didn't know where to start, so I picked one that I've always meant to watch and suspected I might enjoy. It didn't disappoint, except in that AFI only ranked it #99. Great performances and an engaging story.

#49: The Searchers - I realized when I checked this out that although my grandfather was a big fan of westerns and John Wayne in particular, I myself had never seen a John Wayne movie. I've seen enough John Wayne impressions to expect it. This was... okay I guess. Again, I'm not much of a western fan and I felt like the movie was dated, even for its time, in terms of racial relations. I don't know. I wasn't around then.

#50: A Place in the Sun - Montgomery Clift, you are a 'tard!

#51: From Here to Eternity - I'm beginning to think that in order to be included in the list, you must have a character, portrayed by Montgomery Clift, who is a 'tard. I didn't think much of him. Frank Sinatra's character was a little more interesting, but overall the movie didn't make much of an impression on me. I don't know why it's always billed as one of those big romantic movies (cue beach scene, Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster covered in seaweed), because I didn't find it very romantic at all. It's a war movie or a boxing movie (neither of which I'm very fond of) with some people having an affair in the background. I checked the book out of the library because I'd seen that it was better than the movie, but then I realized it's also 10,000 pages long.

#52: Giant - My mother once suggested that I watch Giant, saying that she thought it was the kind of thing I would like. "Why? What's it about?" I asked her. "Oh, it's got Rock Hudson and cattle ranchers and oil and stuff." Rock Hudson? Cattle? Oil? How did my mom know that those are my very favorite things on earth? It was a strange recommendation - since I like moo-cows but I really have no opinion on Mr Hudson or oil - but she was right. It was a nice story and I especially liked James Dean. I've never seen him in anything and I always wrote him off as a pretty-boy who got a lot of press for dying young, but he really was quite talented. And thus, my next movie was...

#53: Rebel Without a Cause - Natalie Wood seemed strange and awkward. I've seen Miracle on 34th Street and Gypsy, but I've always been able to separate the two in my mind. It was kind of weird to see the transition between the child actress and the adult. James Dean was good again, it was very angsty, Sal Mineo was great, and I believe that someone, during the first fight scene at the planetarium, referred to someone else as a poophead. I've already returned the DVD to the library so I can't verify this. Anyone?

#54: Modern Times - Yawn. It was 1936. Making a (sort of) silent film was gimmicky. It was the last appearance of Charlie Chaplin's "Little Tramp" character, and I think it might have been unnecessary to drag him back out like that. Buster Keaton makes me laugh and you, Mr Chaplin, are no Buster Keaton. ¡Viva el Buster!

srah | 12:24 PM | TrackBack
Tags: afi, buster keaton, movies

Good day sunshine

Last Friday, one of my coworkers slept through her alarm, another's husband forgot to set their alarm at all, and I woke up when my alarm went off, then fell back asleep. It was as though our office was cursed! The weird thing was that all three of us made it to work on time anyway, which led us to wonder why the heck we were getting up so early in the first place. We decided that it was probably because rather than blearily fumbling around in the morning, the extra sleep and panic made us more efficient in our morning preparatory activities.

Last weekend, I decided I didn't want to run the risk of that happening again. Inspired by this Metafilter thread and remembering that Nnnick mentioned that he does the same thing, I went out and bought myself a lamp and a timer.

Monday morning, things were a little bit awkward. My alarm went off and I woke up immediately, remembering my setup and wondering where the light was. It turned out that I'd set the timer against my wristwatch and not against my alarm clock, so there was a difference of about two minutes where I lay in bed, listening to NPR¹ and waiting for the light to blind me. Since then, I've adjusted the timer so that they go off at the same time. I've also decided that I can put the lamp on the three-way bulb's second setting rather than the first (I may move up to the third, but that's brighter than the overhead light in the room and not necessary yet).

Now I find it much easier to get out of bed in the morning and instead of lounging in bed for half an hour, I can hop up and... waste that half hour on the Internet!

Hmm.

–––––
¹ Yes, I am an old woman.

srah | 12:21 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alarm, morning, work

'Everything you want. It's a great idea!'

This article kinda made me want to move to Detroit. Hooray for Detroit! It's not as bad as everyone thinks.

[via The Banterbury Tales]

(Note: link fixed!)

srah | 12:19 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Tags: detroit

Good morning! Everyone's dead except you!

I woke up this morning to a lovely story on Morning Edition that went along the lines of:

"The morning commute will be slowed on the East Coast this morning, due to snowstorms that killed twenty or so people in the Midwest."

What is a bigger news story here? Midwesterners killed or East Coasters inconvenienced? Why are the deaths of Midwesterners simply a footnote to a story about East Coast traffic? Oh America... your coastcentric media coverage is pathetic and disgusting!

srah | 8:02 AM | TrackBack
Tags: united states, weather

December 8, 2005

Realigning the traffic flow

*BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG!*

This is the sound of the first step being taken to Srah Having An Office Of Her Very Own That Is Not Connected To The Kitchenette/Work Area In Such A Way That People Have To Walk Through Srah's Office To Make Tea or Send Faxes.

Hurrah!

But not so much for the Getting Work Done. There is talk that I may be relocated (maybe even to Working From Home!) during the construction.

*BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG!*

srah | 12:06 PM | TrackBack
Tags: construction, the university i work at, work

December 6, 2005

I wish the Ice Man would goeth

Sorry I haven't blogged recently. My fingers have been frozen to various metallic objects.

For verily, I hath movèd into the freezing rain belt, between Dayton's snow and Cincinnati's rain. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, we're in the middle and we get iced upon. The good thing about living in this weather is that after you've finished scraping your car out from under the layer of ice, you have the makings of a delicious sno-cone! The bad thing about living in this weather is that I lied about the first part and there is no good thing.

However, I've just found out that we pay less for our health care than any other university in the state, so I'm not leaving any time soon. At least I won't have to pay too much to have my fingertips reattached when I yank them off my frozen car.

srah | 12:04 PM | TrackBack
Tags: benefits, ice, ohio, srahtown, the university i work at, weather

December 5, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings

Pow! Cracko jacko! Here are some free associations.

srah | 6:21 AM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

December 2, 2005

Seating at last!

Pictures are sort of like blogging, right? I mean, a picture's worth a thousand words! And it takes up nearly as much space too! So shut your gigglehole and enjoy my lovely comfy new loveseat.

srah | 10:45 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack
Tags:

December 1, 2005

'Tis here

'Tis that time of year again; the time of year when we mark the return of 'Tis, the all-Pickard, all-humor Christmaspalooza.

srah | 12:04 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Tags: holidays

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