November 2006 archive

(20 entries)

November 30, 2006

C3PO, party of two, you are requested to board the Peace Train

How exciting! Cat Stevens Yusuf Islam has returned to the music business! He has released the first single from his album "An Other Cup": a song called "Heaven/Where True Love Goes" which is a very pretty, catchy melodious tune with lyrics that... lyrics... um... the lyrics....

...The moment you walked inside my door
I knew that I need not look no more,
I've seen many other souls before - ah but,
Heaven must've programmed you

The moment you fell inside my dreams
I realized all I had not seen,
I've seen many other souls before - ah but,
Heaven must've programmed you.

The moment you said "I will"
I knew that this love was real,
And that my faith was seen - oh
Heaven must've programmed you

The moment I looked into your eyes
I knew that they told no lies,
There would be no good byes - Ah
'cause Heaven must've programmed you...

The lyrics kind of make me wish that I didn't understand English. The song itself is great, but I feel like I can't completely appreciate it because the lyrics are so weird and jarring and bizarre. It's a love song with programming in it. Love and computers do not mix. You are not going to woo me with C++. Computers are not romantic. And I am offended by the idea that I was programmed by anyone, higher being or not. I'm not a robot. I am not a robot! I AM NOT A ROBOT!

... am I?

I am so weirded out.

srah | 8:11 PM
Tags: cat stevens, lyrics, music, yusuf islam

November 29, 2006

Yakity yak, don't talk back

I went to the ophthalmologist today for my yearly checkup.

The diagnosis: I still have the same number of eyes I had at this time last year. Yay!

I really like going to the ophthalmologist, and I don't know why that is. I dread going to the dentist and I have no particular fondness for other doctor's appointments, but I look forward to eye appointments and the opportunity to show off my letter-reading skills and to see the veins on the inside of my eye when a light gets flashed on it.

The only thing that bothered me was that the ophthalmology assistant (or whatever her title is) had me remove my contacts to do the first set of tests, then I had to go across the hall to wait for the ophthalmologist. When he came in, he started talking and chattering at me right away, but I found it hard to carry on a conversation with this big colorful blob. I'd had a chance to see the assistant clearly before taking out my contacts, but this was a new blob and I couldn't remember what he looked like from last year. He was just a big blur, like a television criminal! It's very uncomfortable talking to someone whose face you can't see. I just sort of mumbled my greetings shyly while squinting at him and praying that he would come closer. Then once he let me put my contacts back in, I couldn't stop talking. I bet he introduces himself in blob-form just to shut us patients up!

srah | 8:35 PM
Tags: health, ophthalmologist, vision


I dreamt last night that Britney Spears was one of my eight brothers and sisters. But she was clearly an unfit mother, so we were the ones who had to call all over the place, trying to find a private school for Sean Preston.

They say that dreams are a window to your unconscious and that things that appear in your dreams are symbols of the things you're really concerned about. So it would seem that somewhere in the back of my mind, I am very very concerned about the well-being and education of little Sean Preston Spears-Federline. As we all should be.

srah | 7:57 PM
Tags: britney spears, dream

November 28, 2006

The terrorists have won

Things that I am way more upset about than I probably rationally ought to be but they're so frustrating they make me want to gouge my other people's eyes out:

srah | 12:16 PM
Tags: bengals, comics, for better or for worse, tv

November 27, 2006

Blond James Bond

Apete and Alfie had been planning for months to go see the latest James Bond movie together, leaving my 007-hating self at home. However, I began to warm to the idea of this movie once I heard that so many true Bond fans hated Casino Royale. I was still on the fence, but then as it turned out, srahmom wanted everyone out from under her feet on Wednesday night while she got things ready for Thanksgiving dinner, so the rest of the family went to the movie theater en masse.

Let me tell you, this was the worst James Bond movie ever. It is also the second-best James Bond movie ever, because in the Srah James Bond-Hating Canon of James Bond Films That Are Any Good at All, there are only two films (as opposed to before, when there was only one). I choose not to accept any other films as True James Bond Movies, or any other James Bond actors as True James Bonds. Yes, people may argue over whether Timothy Dalton was better than Roger Moore or whether David Niven counts as a James Bond, but for me, there are only two True James Bonds. So George Lazenby, you now have some company.

I hate James Bond because he is, as I have frequently repeated to my Bond-obsessive sister, a Soulless Sex Robot (and likely chock-full of STDs). So the only James Bonds that appeal to me at all are those who seem to have some kind of romantic (rather than just sexual) connection with the Bond Girl at hand. I've read reviews complaining that this latest Bond movie is too girly and touchy-feely and that James Bond actually has feelings and it's so gross, but for me, a James Bond with some sort of emotional connection to another human being is appealing. Maybe it is because I am such a girl.

So good job, makers of James Bond movies! Let's see if you can make a third.

srah | 5:50 PM
Tags: casino royale, daniel craig, george lazenby, james bond, movies, on her majesty's secret service

I am thankful that...

  • I had many delicious Thanksgiving dinners (I think that, leftover-gorging included, it was a total of five or six) that other people kindly and deliciously prepared for me
  • It is many months until my next Thanksgiving gorge-fest
  • It is less than 364 days until Pretzel Day.

srah | 5:35 PM
Tags: holidays, thanksgiving, the office

November 20, 2006

Sarah wa'sinjab

I have not done an update on my Arabic progress in a long time. It is not because I don't love you or because I don't love Arabic (though it does get harder and harder to catch up every time I go out of town and have to miss class). It is because with increased complexity comes increased difficulty in looking up all those danged letters. I can barely spell as it is, but doing so online means that I have to write a word out as باب to make it look like باب. And that's only a three-letter word. Once you write a whole sentence out of bizarre combinations of keyboard symbols and numbers, it isn't so much fun anymore. If someone will find me a website that automatically converts your Arabic letters into Unicode symbols, I'll take another crack at it.

I will report, however, that I am now able to greet people, introduce myself, ask how people are doing, count to ten, describe where some classroom objects are in relation to each other and create complete sentences, as long as they don't have any verbs in them (yes, in Arabic this is possible).

Today for the oral portion of our most recent exam, we had to perform dialogues with a partner. Like many of the other groups, we tried desperately to insert humor into our dialogue, though with our limited vocabulary this is difficult. We aren't exactly at the stage where we can write puns or have hilarious misunderstandings or get murdered or married or in a tricky situation over a pound note. So the extent of our humor was when I said, "Yes, I have a bookbag. My bookbag is in my car. In my bookbag, there is a book and a notebook and a pen and a newspaper and a squirrel." HA HA HA HA HA! The hilarity! There is a squirrel in her bag! Bookbags are not where squirrels belong! HA HA! Yeah, awesome. My teacher did not even react. Sigh.

So no, I shan't write out the entire dialogue, nor the entire sentence, but I will share with you the word سنجاب (sinjab), or squirrel. Go forth unto the world with this new knowledge, which will be of no use to you at all, ever.

srah | 6:50 PM | TrackBack
Tags: arabic, humor, in arabic

Put your tape decks on record, y'all

Put your tape decks on record, y'allLudacris hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend and surprised me by not taking himself seriously and actually being funny. This is not something I really expect from rappers, who seem way too concerned with getting other people to take them seriously. Now I think that Ludacris is awesome. Yay Ludacris.

There were many funny parts to the episode, but one really stood out, in that it has been in my head CONSTANTLY FOR ABOUT 36 HOURS. Fortunately, NBC has put the whole Blizzard Man sketch online so that you too can enjoy these miraculous lyrics (and the dances that go with them):

Rap song! Rap song. We do our raps and then the crowd goes wild. And then it's time for the after-party, then we hang out and do lots of sex with girls.
Doin' raps and goin' to parties – that's basically what we're all about. We're super famous so the ladies let us hump 'em and also we drink expensive champagne.
We rap all the time, oh we are so good at rapping. Who wants to mess with us? You'll totally get shot with a gun. Don't you be a jerk. It's bad for the party and the ladies get scared. Here, you, smoke this doobie. Let's all go down and get in the hot tub. What a fancy shindig, there are some real bodacious babes. They see our soggy trunks, and they shake their booties and my thingy gets excited. Boop-boop-dootly-doot...

These lyrics are even more inspiring than Katharine McPhee's.

srah | 1:07 PM
Tags: quote, saturday night live, tv

November 18, 2006

Moving Sale! Everything must go!

Hey Ann Arborites! Want to buy some stuff?

Excellent news, because there is plenty of stuff to buy. Get your booty on over there SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY; there be plenty of booty to be had.

srah | 11:56 PM
Tags: ann arbor, announcements


DSCF2779My local evening news program has informed me that instead of the usual rioting and car-flipping, OSU fans have been celebrating by carrying around chunks of dirt.

Ain't no party like a Columbus party.

srah | 11:39 PM
Tags: columbus, football, ohio, ohio state university

November 17, 2006

Bo Schembechler

Former University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler passed away this morning. He was an important part of University of Michigan and Ann Arbor culture for my whole life. U-M football won't be the same without him.

Go blue!

srah | 12:33 PM
Tags: bo schembechler, football, university of michigan

November 14, 2006

Sorry, no fascinating discussion of socks this time

Alas, I have left the mothership and am no longer in Ann Arbor, which means that I am unable to attend the Beer with Bloggers event for bloggers and blogreaders in the Ann Arbor-Ypsi area. But that doesn't mean I can't advertise it to... whoever reads this and is actually located in Ann Arbor!
So, if you're a blogger or a blog reader who lives within walking, biking, or driving distance of Depot Town, stop in at Frenchie's and say, "Hello." And don't worry - there's no formal meeting or anything to sit through – just a lot of self-important, antisocial misfits sitting around and talking shit about one another and their grandiose plans.

Bring on the antisocial misfits! For more information, see Mark Maynard.

srah | 6:49 AM
Tags: ann arbor, blogmeet

November 11, 2006

Godzilla, Paul Bunyan and a robot walk into a bar...

The worst commercial on TV right now is the one with Godzilla, Paul Bunyan and a giant robot terrorizing a city by doing the Pepto-Bismol song-and-dance routine. Can you imagine the chaos if Paul Bunyan had an attack of diarrhea in the middle of downtown? What is Paul Bunyan doing in a city, anyway? And why is he friends with Godzilla? And how does a robot get indigestion or heartburn¹? This commercial disturbs me almost as much as that freaky Burger King.

Pepto-Bismol Dance Machine!Unfortunately, no one seems to have put this monstrosity² up online, so I'm not able to show it off to those of you who have been lucky enough to miss it on TV. You can, however, play with the Pepto-Bismol Dance Machine and make your own dances about nausea and indigestion!

Yes, I was put on earth to find these things for you. You're welcome.

¹ That does explain what the robot was doing in the pharmacy, though.

² Monstrosity! Ha! Because they're monsters! (Well, Paul Bunyan isn't a monster per se, but he's certainly of unusual size.)

srah | 8:50 PM
Tags: commercials, pepto-bismol

November 9, 2006

Why don't I remember going to King Solomon's Mines in the first place?

110606_0908.jpgAre you ready for the excitement? Are you ready for the drama? Are you ready for the SEQUEL TO END ALL SEQUELS?

Are you ready for The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines? You'd better be, suckah! This kind of cinematic masterpiece only comes around every two years or so. I only hope that this latest episode will tell the tale of the time-traveling ninjas introduced at the very end of the last one. Also more Bob Newhart, please.

Why oh why don't I have a full cable package that includes TNT? Why am I depriving myself so?

srah | 12:07 PM | TrackBack
Tags: librarian, library, movies, the librarian: return to king solomon's mines

November 8, 2006

The No. 1 Ladies' Hair-Teasin' and Veranda-Sittin' Agency

She was a traditionally built lady, after all, and she did not have to worry about dress size, unlike those poor, neurotic people who were always looking in mirrors and thinking that they were too big. What was too big, anyway? Who was to tell another person what size they should be? It was a form of dictatorship, by the thin, and she was not having any of it. If these thin people became any more insistent, then the more generously sized people would just have to sit on them. Yes, that would teach them! Hah!

- Morality for Beautiful Girls

I'd heard of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency for months, or maybe even years. Somehow the seldom-used word "Ladies" in the title made me assume that it was some kind of Ya-Ya Sisterhood or Steel Magnolias thing about Southern women drinking sweet tea and gossiping and having big hair and big drama... and occasionally solving mysteries. No thank you. I never even bothered to pick up the book and read the back.

When I was in England, I stopped by a used book store before leaving, to pick up something to read on the plane. The store owner asked what I was looking for and I told him "Something light and fun for reading on a plane. Like, maybe a murder mystery. Yeah, murder is always light and fun." He directed me toward the paperback mysteries and suggested The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency among other things. I finally got around to reading the back and thought, "Well, it's not at all what I assumed it would be about. I'll give it a try, since it's used and therefore cheap¹." I read all of the books I'd brought on the plane (including what I suspect to be The Worst Book in the World) before taking a crack at this Botswanan lady detective.

It turns out she's delightful. With no training or experience as a detective, Precious Ramotswe used her inheritance from her father's death to set up the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana. She mostly solves mysteries (missing persons, trailing husbands suspected of adultery, investigating allegations of poisoning) based on her knowledge of human nature. Sometimes she's even wrong, which is a rather refreshing change from those infallible detectives like Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. The books have an amusing writing style and are funny and touching and an interesting view of life in Botswana and Mma Ramotswe's opinions on the way Africa has changed over her lifetime.

¹ Not that anything in England is cheap.

srah | 10:31 PM
Tags: books, how nancy drew saved my life, reviews, the no. 1 ladies' detective agency

Smoke-free Ohio

I was very conflicted on Issue 5 in this election: a proposed smoking ban to affect all bars, restaurants and other public places in Ohio. On one hand, I felt like a statewide ban was really strong, and preferred to leave it up to individual establishments to decide whether they wanted non-smokers' business. On the other hand, I don't want to breathe the stuff. All in all, I was just glad that it was on the ballot because it was really making people think about smoking.

This was the only thing on the entire ballot that I had any real hesitation about, and I hadn't even made my mind up when I arrived at the polling place or when I sat down with my (stupid paper) ballot. Finally I decided that from everything I had seen, the smoking ban looked like it was going to pass, so it didn't really matter. I decided to vote against the ban, just to make the statement that I felt it was too strong and I didn't like the idea of telling other people across the whole state what to do with their own businesses and lungs. The issue passed, which I expected (and sort of hoped) it would even when I was placing my token "no" vote.

When I was in Ireland, where the smoking ban has been in place for a while now, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I didn't have to choose my pub-going outfit based on which clothing I could allow to get smoky. Now beginning December 8, I can go out to bars and restaurants in Ohio, too, without worrying about coming home reeking like cigarettes. Hooray! This was the one thing holding me back from having a social life, so there will be no stopping me now.

srah | 5:50 PM | TrackBack
Tags: ireland, ohio, smoking, social life, voting

November 7, 2006

I say vote yes! (Sit down, srah)

I tripped off to the polling place today, buoyant with excitement at the prospect of My Very Own First Electronic Voting Experience. I walked down the road (for a nice 1500 or so steps each way), went up to the Precinct 3 table and gave them my name and ID. They informed me that I wasn't on their list and that judging by the road I live on, I was supposed to be at the Srahtown Township table rather than Srahtown Precinct 3. This was a bit of a surprise, as I'd always had the impression I was inside the city limits. Fortunately, Precinct 3 and the Township share a voting location, so it was just another table across the room. I presented my name and ID and discovered I was not on that list either. They looked up my house number and discovered that yes, my part of the road is indeed in Precinct 3.

So even though I was notified to come vote at that location, I was not on the voter list and had to fill out a provisional ballot. On paper. With little bubbles to fill in like a freaking Scantron! Then I had to fold it and put it in an envelope and hope that someone counts it in a few days.

So I am left out of all the super electronic voting fun! Booooooooo!

srah | 6:07 PM | TrackBack
Tags: srahtown, voting

November 4, 2006

One last (temporary) change

I'm going to a conference in Columbus this week, so I feel as though I have to make up for it in some way. Go blue!

srah | 7:37 PM
Tags: football, michigan, ohio state university, university of michigan

Big new changes!

... Can't you tell?

Yes, I changed some fonts around (which I will probably get sick of and change back in the next week). The other, bigger changes are:

  1. Pop-up comments are gone. Apparently they are even bigger spam-magnets than normal comments, so in an effort to curb the onslaught of spam, I'm doing this. Hope you don't mind too much.
  2. You will now be required to enter an email address when commenting. However, this email address will not appear on the blog itself - it's just a way for me to sort things better when trying to delete spam.
  3. Tags! The tags don't do much at this point, but once I understand them better I hope you'll be able to search on tags and do all kinds of fun stuff (not that anyone actually searches around here, other than me).

srah | 4:39 PM
Tags: blog, maintenance

November 3, 2006

Nothing to see here...

Righty-o. I'm going to set about updating my Movable Type installation, then there may be some minor changes around here. With any luck, I will resurface in a few hours with the blog still intact and everything will be explained anon.

Update: This is a lot more hassle than I thought and my Internet connection keeps going in and out. Grrr. I'll work on this later.

srah | 9:29 PM | TrackBack
Tags: movable type, upgrade

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