May 2008 archive

(17 entries)

May 23, 2008

Get up offa that thing/ And walk 'til clothes fit better

In news tangentially related to the previous post, I went to the doctor the other week for my allergies (she actually believed I was sick this time!) and they weighed me. My weight tends to fluctuate within about a 10-pound range, but it had fluctuated out of that range to the point where I was eligible to give blood. Oops!

I didn't think too much of it until I started realizing that my pants were a little tight this week, and that I also hadn't recorded my steps on Walker Tracker in a month or more, mostly because I wasn't doing much walking to speak of. Hmmmm, maybe there's a correlation there.

I twittered that walking would be cheaper (albeit possibly less fun!) than buying all new pants, and Micah noted that he hadn't seen me on Walker Tracker lately. So, as is often the case with Micah and me, I challenged him to a duel. In order to encourage ourselves to walk more, Micah and I are entering into a walking competition starting tomorrow. At stake: The person who has the lower average stepcount between May 24 and June 24 has to write a Blog Post of Shame, confessing that they lost the competition.

So next time you see me in person, take me for a little walk. If you talk to me on the phone, remind me to get up and walk in circles while I talk. If you are Twittering or SuperPoking back and forth with me, tell me to get off the dang couch and go outside. It is for The Good of the Blog.

srah | 12:57 PM
Tags: health, walking

The Butler Gas Station Did It

Earlier this week, the prices for a gallon of gas and a gallon¹ of cigarettes were the same at my local gas station. Now, at the end of the week, gas is a few cents more expensive.

I feel like the gas station is trying to subliminally encourage me to give up driving and take up smoking instead. THANKS A LOT FOR TRYING TO MURDER ME, GAS STATION. I wish they advertised other things on the same sign, like:

  • Regular Unleaded: $3.99
  • Marlboros: $3.85
  • Walking: Free, you lazy cow, and better for you that the other two options.
¹ Or whatever unit it is that cigarettes are sold in.

srah | 12:25 PM
Tags: gas prices, walking

She Probably Died of Acute Smoochitis

I've been tagged by Princess Sparkle Pants for this meme where you have to write your epitaph in exactly six words - no more, no less.

This is a six word epitaph meme. The rules: Write your own six word memoir or epitaph. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want. Link to the person who tagged you in your post. Tag at least five more blogs. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

After deliberating over it for days (when I remembered to think about it), I finally found inspiration. Thanks to the power of the Internet, I have traveled into the hopefully-distant future to take pictures of my gravestone, which is apparently in a veeeeery spoooooky graveyard.

It's either this one:

Or this one:

Or it might be this one:

Too bad I just stole all these epitaphs from Dinosaur Comics¹.

The meme dies here, unless someone would like to take up the challenge.

¹ Greatest webcomic on Earth... or GREATEST webcomic on Earth?

srah | 12:08 PM
Tags: epitaphs, memes

May 22, 2008

Would you like to see a George Wendt bean-eating movie?

Jamelah's doing another survey! This time, the topic is books and reading. There will be charts and graphs, people, and I know how you love charts and graphs. Actually, I don't, but I assume you do. Don't everybody? </Lina Lamont>

Jamelah says:

You do not have to be into books and reading to participate. You can be into books and reading, or you can totally not be into books and reading. Either is fine. Really.

So get on over there if you'd like to learn more and/or sign up!

srah | 7:01 AM
Tags: jamelah, surveys

May 18, 2008

All the people will celebrate the glory of you

Next week, on the twentieth of May, I proclaim 'Liza Doolittle Day.

I have not yet decided what this will entail. Possibly speaking in a painful Cockney accent, taking a bath for the first time ever, or eating lots of chocolates and going for rides in taxis. Perhaps I will pass myself off as a duchess at an Embassy Ball, dance dance dance all night, fill my mouth with marbles or just have a cup-a-tayyyyy. Maybe I will cut off my elocution teacher's head!

I invite you all to celebrate in your own way!

srah | 2:35 PM
Tags: eliza doolittle day, holidays, my fair lady

May 15, 2008

So I send people Moustache Trees on Facebook instead

My beard grows to my toes,
I never wears no clothes,
I wraps my hair,
Around my bare,
And down the road I goes.

- Shel Silverstein

I was raised to believe that women can do anything that men can do. So I'm always disappointed when I remember that I will (probably) never grow the long, flowing beard that I've dreamed of.

srah | 12:48 PM
Tags: beards, gender, poetry

Coka, coka, coka, coh! Cha chee, cha chee, cha chee cha! Ah coodle doodle do, ah coodle doodle do! Coo coo cha cha, coo coo cha cha!

I hate mascots and clowns and people in big puffy animal costumes¹. I can't believe that there's an actual human being under there somewhere... it's just a horrible beast that has been sent to torment and terrify me. When we went to Zehnder's on Sunday for the Mothers' Day Brunch, I kept an eye on the creepy chicken mascot as he made his way around the room. If he came near me, I decided, I was going to sneer and say, "Happy Mother's Day! I just ate yours."

¹ Which is weird because "gorilla suit" is my go-to answer when someone asks me what would be appropriate attire for a certain occasion, such as a wedding or job interview.

srah | 12:31 PM | TrackBack
Tags: fears, mascots

May 13, 2008

In which I get all boring and political and make fun of abbreviations

Three days ago, I sent a personalized form message through my professional association's website to my state senators asking them to support the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act, which, to boil it down, would establish a foundation with the goal of increasing participation in (and funding for) study abroad and increasing diversity both in study abroad destinations and in the demographics of study abroad participants. This bill has been working its way through the system for a while and will expire if it is not passed by the Senate this year.

This morning, I received a reply from Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH¹):

Dear Ms. [srahlastname]:

Thank you for expressing your support of S. 991, the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act of 2007.

Study abroad programs provide an opportunity for personal educational enrichment and the potential for greater mutual understanding and friendship between nations. I am a cosponsor² of this bill and will continue to support efforts to increase the global awareness involvement of our citizens. Our war with Iraq illustrates the vital need for cross cultural education.

S. 991 is currently being considered by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations³. If the bill comes to a vote before the full Senate, I will definitely support it.

Thank you again for contacting me.

Sherrod Brown

Yes, there are a few holes in the message, but what matters is that he supports the bill. Now we're just waiting on you, Mr Voinovich!

If anyone else feels strongly about study abroad and would like to contact their own senators in support of the Simon Study Abroad Act, you can do so here. A list of current cosponsors of the bill can be found here, if you'd like to check first to see if your senators have already pledged their support. I would be particularly glad of your senators' support if you happen to live in... say... Illinois. Or Arizona. Or, heck, even New York. (But every little senator helps!)

¹ I can't help reading this as "D'OH!", even though the guy's on my side.

² I admit that I do not understand all the complications of government, but shouldn't he be listed here? Maybe it just hasn't been updated since I convinced him with my eloquence.

³ Actually, they passed it in February...

srah | 6:22 PM
Tags: politics, study abroad

Who can take a blanket, sprinkle it with sleeves, price it fifty dollars, then sell it off to me? The Slanket Man can...

One of my guilty pleasures when I fly is reading the SkyMall catalogue. It's not because there's any actual shopping that I want to do, but more because I'm amazed by the range of things that other people are - apparently - willing to buy. I've always considered the target audience for SkyMall to be "OCD hypochondriacs who are really obsessed with their pets, have more money than they know what to do with and whose children hate them."

That said, I really want a Slanket. Frangela say(s) they rock! And they are even more desirable after this recent conversation that J and I had on Facebook:

me: [via Twitter] Oi'm so cold, guv'nor. Me fingerless gloves do nuffink.

me: [via Twitter] Thinking about buying a slanket and wearing it to work.

J: They're doing HVAC work here so it is also very cold in the building. I think a slanket dealer could make a killing if they set up shop outsite the library this week.

me: I like the image of a Slanket dealer, opening up one side of his trenchcoat to show off a selection of brightly-colored, bulky blankets.

"Hey man, you need a Slanket?"

J: I was picturing more like a hot dog cart with the slankets being kept warm inside. The guys says, 'Hey, what color you want?' and you say, 'Gimme a red.' And he opens the lid on the cart and sort of dispenses it out, and it's warm and steamy, like it's just coming out of the dryer.

me: OH MAN.

Prewarmed Slankets? I want one so bad.

I bet he takes it out of the warmer with tongs, too, doesn't he? And has one of those little paper hats on.

I am really tempted to get up and look out the window, just to make sure he isn't standing outside my building with his cart, dinging his little bell.

"SLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANKETS! Git yer red-hot Slankets here!"

I can't possibly buy one from SkyMall now. I must hold out for the mythical Slanket Man.

srah | 12:16 PM
Tags: cold, conversation, shopping, skymall

May 8, 2008

It's after six. What am I, a farmer?

This meme is going around again, and Elisabeth has tagged me. I've done it before, but - heck - I'll do it again.

Post the rules on your blog:
- Write six random things about yourself in a blog post
- Tag six people in your post
- Let each person know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
- Let the tagger know your entry is up
  1. Frosting!I don't like most frosting, and therefore I don't like most cake. I will usually have a small piece of your birthday or wedding cake in order to be polite (and to test out if it's one of those frostings I do like), which sort of makes it look like I'm one of those people on a diet who goes, "Oh, I'll just have a small piece." It's not that; it's the frosting.

    I love cupcakes, because they are so pretty to look at and people are so creative with the trendy cupcakes these days, but I can pretty much take them or leave them when it comes to eating them. The nice thing about cupcakes is that the trendy flavors usually mean trendy frosting flavors, so sometimes they are tastier than cakes. The bad thing is that there tends to be a higher frosting-to-cake ratio on cupcakes than cake. Even if I do find a frosting edible, that doesn't mean I want a lot of it.

    When I make cut-out sugar cookies, I always keep a few to the side for myself, which I leave unfrosted or dust with colored sugars before baking.

    This is one of the problems I have with so many inappropriate things (paczki, angel food cake, scones) being frosted in Ohio. It probably wouldn't bother me so much if I didn't HATE FROSTING and therefore feel that they had RUINED a perfectly acceptable food with it.
  2. One thing that I am good at is making waffles. The secret is to separate the eggs, mix the yolks in with everything else, beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until they're fluffy and fold them back in. And now I have given away my secret and am no longer better than everyone else. Ho hum.
  3. I don't think I am a very good hostess. I tend to stress out about forgetting little details, which causes me to forget other, more important things and puts my guests at ill-ease because I am fluttering and hovering and stressing out.

    I threw a Clue party last weekend, which was the first party I've had since I moved down here. (I did invite people over to watch the Austenpalooza with me, but I never had more than one person take me up on it). I forgot to do things like offer to take people's coats (or even notice if they BROUGHT coats), introduce people to each other, change into my costume before people started arriving, or offer the first guests something to drink.

    When people come from out-of-town to Srahtown, I can't always think of things to show them, because I don't emerge and explore the area that often myself. I have my standards in the region (drive around campus, Skyline Chili, Graeter's, Jungle Jim's, the zoo, the aquarium) but once I've exhausted those, or if I use them all up in the first visit and someone comes back, I'm stuck.

    Fortunately, I do not live in a place that people really want to visit, so a) I don't get too many visitors and b) those who do visit are usually visiting for me and not to check out the sights.

    I should probably buy Amy Sedaris's book. She loves entertaining.
  4. When I was in college, there was some sort of event where we had to go to the Office of Career Services. I think they were offering free popcorn and that's what got me there. I think the idea was to introduce students to the office and show them the resources they had available (for language majors: not much). I guess there must have been some kind of "Career Services Goes To The Movies" theme, because in addition to the popcorn, they had some kind of door prize drawing where you were supposed to write down a character from a movie whose job you would most like to have. I wrote Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady.
  5. There is an unwritten - but frequently shouted by Alfie and me - rule in our house that if one of those infomercials for some kind of CD compilation comes on, you are not allowed to change the channel, even if we have seen the informercial eighteen times already. It is especially fun when we have seen them eighteen times already, because then we can try to anticipate and shout out what the next song/video clip is going to be¹. Alfie and I really enjoy seeing (and heckling) Pat Boone and Frankie Avalon.

    Also, this is why we have no friends and no one ever wants to hang out with us.

    We also love non-musical infomercials, but there is not a strict rule for those. The only time that we have made a permanent exception to the rule, that I can remember, was when it was some kind of country compilation that we decided we didn't have to finish and never had to see again. Changing the channel during other already-seen CD compilation infomercials must be voted on, and may also be influenced by Is There Something Else On TV (which, during the infomercial hours, there usually isn't).
  6. Lately, when I go somewhere that has all of the many ingredients that go into it, my Soft Drink Of Choice has been ginger ale with a twist of lime. I don't drink much pop anymore, but every once in a while a ginger ale is nice and refreshing. Rather shamefully I must admit that my preferred brand is Canada Dry, and not the Michigan brand Vernors. I think this is because Vernors was the brand my family bought growing up, so I associate it with upset stomachs. Sorry, Michigan!

Since this has already been around a significant chunk of the blogosphere, I hereby tag anyone who hasn't done it before (Alfie? Moe? Anyone?), including any non-blog-having commenters who would like to tell us six random things about themselves.

Or, you can just tell me which movie character's job you would most like to have.

¹ It's going to be Gogi Grant.

srah | 8:02 PM
Tags: career, frosting, ginger ale, hospitality, infomercials, memes, six things, srahfam, waffles

May 3, 2008

Those who object to ninjas, vampires, werewolves and LOTS of swearing should probably abstain

I realize that I have already spammed you about this in pretty much every outlet known to man me (Twitter, Facebook, This is Awesome!, Digg, shouting at random strangers on the street), but there may yet be audiences and individuals I have not yet reached, and who desperately need to watch Le Strat: His Rock Is So Hard ("The story of the vampire that sucks blood and totally wails on guitar, and also saves rock and roll.").

Here's the trailer:

If you're not sold yet, let me inform you that the movie includes cameo appearances starring-ish roles by such past and present srah blah blah commenters as Rachel (Girl Looking Disgusted In Coffee Shop), Alfie (Arm In The Shot In Coffee Shop), Srahdad (Man Disapproving In Coffee Shop), Mr B (Mexican Wrestler, Man Accosted On Street and Dublin Bassist, among others) and Not Your Mom (First Member Of The Gang Of Moms).

The first third of the movie is currently online here, and segments are being added day by day until the whole thing's up. You can subscribe on YouTube or RSS¹ to be updated as the new parts appear. If you enjoy it, you can visit the Le Strat MySpace page, leave comments on the videos (or here, for that matter), Digg the video, and tell your friends!


¹ I haven't tested the RSS feed to make sure it works properly, but hopefully it will! If you don't get any notifications, check back in a couple of days.

srah | 10:19 AM
Tags: le strat, movies, ninjas, vampires, werewolves

Madam, I may be drunk but BLEAUUUUURGH...

Yes.  I am awesome.

EV is off getting married (and is not even getting a panther ring out of it, so I don't know why she's bothering!) and so I have once again been named Emcee¹ of National Adjective Day!

In honor of National Adjective Day, let me teach you a little something that I only learned within the last year! While the word "nauseous" is often used to describe the feeling of being sick to your stomach (and most dictionaries now accept the use of this word for that purpose), the original definition of the word is something that makes others feel sick. So when someone says, "I feel nauseous," you can retort, "You smell nauseous." Then you should run before they puke on you. If you want to be all correct and traditional and prescriptivist about it, you should use the word "nauseated" when you want to prepare someone to deal with your impending vomit.

Tell us all about your favorite adjectives, in the comments, or in your own blog!

¹ "When I call up EV and tell her that I have a twenty-seven year old study abroad adviser who wants to be a National Adjective Day emcee, her first questions is not going to be, 'Does she have her own hat?'"

srah | 8:06 AM
Tags: holidays, memes, national adjective day

May 2, 2008

In Which I Make Preposterous Environmental Claims... set to music!

Every few months I like to remind Universal Pictures (passive-aggressively, in blogged song-parody format) of how annoyed I am that they haven't released The Pirates of Penzance on DVD. That'll show them! I can hear them caring right now.

According to the holy text
Of the FSM and all his sect,
The reason Earth's too hot these days
Is a population kept at bay
As pirate numbers do decrease
In Kathmandu, Peru and Greece
His nood'ly appendage to us will bring
This terrible scourge: global warming.

He brought global warming!
And it is, it is a terrible thing
To have global warming!

He brought global warming

Universal Pictures
He did!
He brought global warming!

And it is, it is a terrible thing
To have global warming!

Universal Pictures
It is!
He brought global warming!

srah and Universal Pictures
We have global warming.

When I asked myself just what the cause
Of this awful global warming was
Or how we could reverse the trend
And get back cooler days (RAmen)
I realized the death of the VHS
Contributed to this big hot mess
And pirate popularity
Depends on release of a Penzance DVD!


They caused global warming!
And it is, it is a terrible thing
To cause global warming!

They caused global warming!

Universal Pictures
We did!
We caused global warming!

And it is, it is a terrible thing
To cause global warming!

Universal Pictures
It is!
We caused global warming!

srah and Universal Pictures
We/They caused global warming.

srah | 7:47 PM
Tags: flying spaghetti monster, gilbert and sullivan, global warming, parodies, the pirates of penzance, universal pictures

Nobbin' with all the muckety-mucks/ I'm blowin' my dough and goin' deluxe

I am really excited about this Economic Stimulus Garbage that's going on, because I am such a miserly hoarder of my money that it gives me pleasure to be given money with the intent that it should be spent freely on frivolous, economically-stimulating spending. When I get my tax refunds every year, I think, "Wheeee! Free money! What shall I blow it on?" and then I end up putting it into savings "for a rainy day", which I never spend, no matter how rainy the day is, because my imagination always assumes that things will get worse and there will be a time when I need it more.


So now, in addition to the $700 or so dollars I've lent the gubmint(s) throughout the year and which they are giving back to me, I get $300-$600 for free. I have no idea whether I'm getting $300 or $600 or how I find that out, so I'll just sit tight and see what arrives in my bank account on the 16th. I feel like I can spend this money instead of saving it, and I don't need to feel guilty about it, because it's what the government told me to do¹.

Now I've got to figure out what to spend it on. I have it narrowed down:

  1. a pony
  2. magic beans
  3. blow it all up my nose (not on cocaine or anything, just stuffing bills up my nose)
  4. the most glorious, expensive pair of shoes in the universe (Note: I have not yet found a glorious pair of $1300 shoes, but I have faith that they exist. I also have faith that I would immediately step in something horrible as soon as I put them on.)
  5. put it towards (in the voice of the late Rod Roddy) A NEW CAAAAAAAAAR!
  6. 3000 DVDS
  7. get a haircut, you dang hippie
  8. go on a trip to somewhere exciting, like Canada
  9. Kobe beef burgers
  10. Kobe Bryant burgers (cannibalicious!)
  11. leave it in the bank while I try to figure out what to spend it on, then eventually forget that I was supposed to be spending it, because I waited so long to find the perfect thing to buy and never found anything that matched my expectations, then get attached to having that money in my savings account and decide that I should keep it there "for a rainy day."

I wonder which it will be!

¹ And if you can't trust the government, who can you trust? Amirite?

srah | 12:56 PM
Tags: economy, money, taxes

May 1, 2008

Do they have TV in intravenous form yet? Why not? Discuss.

Internet, I know you come here for the disgusting horrible metaphors, so let me give you one here:

You know how in order to make delicious delicious pâté, the nasty mean delicious-delicious-pâté-makers hook the poor delicious delicious geese up to a big pipe and shoot feed down their throats, force-feeding them until their delicious delicious livers are all huge and swollen and distended?¹

That is going to be me tonight, only replace "throats" with "eyes" and replace "feed-pipe" with "television." ABC and NBC have decided to cooperate and arrange all of my favorite shows on one night, in a big three-hour block. Ugly Betty! The Office! 30 Rock! Lost! SO MUCH TELEVISION! Just hook me directly to the TV, please. Or put me in some kind of tank so that I don't accidentally interact with other human beings.

At the end of the night I will roll off the couch and wonder why my liver hurts.


¹ If you didn't know, sorry to disillusion you!²

² I am in love with footnotes today.

srah | 12:46 PM
Tags: tv

John Punched the Lion

There is a commercial that they read on NPR every once in a while for some kind of agency or bureau to encourage people to bring their businesses to Florida. I'm not sure if it only goes out on my local NPR station or if it's part of the nationwide broadcast that all of you hear¹. Today, after hearing it a million times, I finally wrote it down. If I transcribed it correctly (which I believe I did, thank you very much), it ends,

"... helping businesses locate, expand and set up in Florida."

What is the state of the American educational system if we have to have a whole bureau dedicated to helping people locate Florida? It's right down there, dangling into the Gulf of Mexico! Ponce de Leon found it by accident! I am also not really clear on whether they help businesses expand in Florida, or expand Florida itself.

(Life is really hard to parse when you are as horribly horribly nit-picky and literal as I am.)

¹ This is a beef I have with NPR. I am not always sure what is local and what isn't. I guess I just need to get to know my radio personalities better, but my station isn't helping by listing all of their on-air personalities and staff together.

srah | 12:24 PM
Tags: literal, npr

Summertime... and the parkin' is easy...

Summer is held at the wrong time of year.

In Srahtown in the summer, there is suddenly an abundance of parking available. You can arrive late and still get a good spot. You can leave during the day, come back and park in the same spot... or a better one! It is glorious! Vive l'été!

This is not the case the rest of the year. The rest of the year, there are fierce battles over parking spaces, with shivs and chains and tridents and suchlike. Academics in their tweed jackets and elbow patches hold their Very Academic Pipes in one hand and a flame thrower in the other. It's amazing I'm still alive.

In the summer, I can leave during the day to drive over to my rental office to pay my rent¹ and then come back and find a parking spot, instead of doing it over my lunch hour (and risking losing my spot) or leaving work a half hour early once a month. But I don't need to do that in the summer, because we're on a 7:30-4:30 summer schedule which leaves a free half hour for such errands! I need that free half-hour during the winter, when I am risking my parking spot, not in the summer when I can leave to pay at any time of day.

In the summer, I can leave during the day to drive uptown for lunch, instead of being restricted to bringing my lunch or eating at the terrible food court at the student center, which are pretty much my only comfortable walking-distance options in the cold, cold winter. But in the summer, I usually want to walk uptown! It would be great to be able to drive uptown at lunchtime during the cold, cold winter and walk there during the summer, but my options are reversed.

In the summer, there are hours and hours of daylight after work, to the point where I sometimes get myself in trouble. I have to get to work a half-hour earlier than I do the rest of the year, but the daylight confuses my internal clock, so that I stay up much later than expected. I could really use that extra half-hour in the depths of winter, when it's already dark by the time we leave work.

WHEREAS it is hard to run errands when there are lots of people on campus and it's cold out and

WHEREAS walking-distance options are severely diminished by the cold cold wind and ice and such and

WHEREAS my brain prefers to read the signs of nature as opposed to a freaking clock;

THEREFORE, I move that we move Summer Break to January or something, for my own personal convenience.


¹ I could mail it in, but that would involve too much in the way of advanced planning and envelopes. Plus, I'm saving money on stamps, which I then spend on gas driving out to the stupid rental office which I could totally walk to if there were sidewalks on the way, but that's a rant for another time.

² By "we all" I mean "me."

srah | 12:10 PM
Tags: driving, parking, srahtown, the university i work at, weather

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