Friday, August 29, 2008

tell me what i want to hear

I'll End The War In Iraq Responsibly... Finish The Fight Against Al Qaeda And The Taliban In Afghanistan... Provide Affordable Health Care for Every American... Cut Taxes For 95% Of All Working Families... End Dependence On Oil From Middle East In Ten Years... Invest $150 Billion In Renewable Sources Of Energy Over The Next Decade... Rebuild Our Military To Meet Future Conflicts...

i'm so hopeful.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


based on my previous viewing habits, netflix made a list of my most viewed genres:

1) TV Sitcoms
2) TV Dramedy
3) Pre-20th Century Period Pieces
4) Sci-Fi & Fantasy
5) Social & Cultural Documentaries

i enjoy TV shows and i'm clearly all kinds of nerdy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

welcome to my video blog

i just got back today from the bay area. updates soon.

Friday, August 15, 2008

i often feel this way (about abraham lincoln)

five for friday, part three

i'm currently in the bay area visiting my totally awesome sister-in-law, attending a wedding with karl, and enjoying a much needed break from work and home life. in honor of that, i'm five for friday-ing my trip (in two sections, only, this time).

five things i love about attending other people's weddings are:
1. free booze
2. dressing up (see navy)
3. food
4. seeing the creativity put into the decorations
5. letting the hosts stress while you enjoy the above

five things i love about san francisco are:
1. a good number of my friends live there
2. the weather is nice (relatively)
3. it's walkable (and/or public transitable)
4. restaurants!
5. bars!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

ghost in the shell

a friend of mine recently shared this link with me. i think as a kid i always wanted to strip down to the bottom of these kinds of toys to see their magic for myself, but i also dealt with some serious anthropomorphic issues with my toys--like thinking i needed to kiss each one before going to sleep, as one might get jealous of the other's attention-getting. anyway, enough about me as a young neurotic, and more about how cool my pet monster looks stripped of his characteristic dignity.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


yeondoo jung, an artist from korea, took children’s drawings and made his own real life replications of them in a series he named "wonderland." after collecting more than 1,000 drawings from south korean children between the ages of five and seven he narrowed the drawings down to a small selection of favorites and staged full-scale photo shoots designed to bring each drawing to life. here is the whole series.

i have to say i love this kind of artwork. i'm a huge fan of children's artwork and remember the year i fell in love with a series at my college library featuring the works of young kids living in war torn countries. kids have a way of pairing honesty with fancy and wonderment that adults cannot. we, as adults, can do one or the other well, but there's something in the way (maybe ego) that typically won't let us freely do both, i think.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


if this wasn't enough for you, i present...DRAMATIC LEMUR:

Friday, August 8, 2008

you win a TOY YODA

five for friday, part two (arkansas edition)

top five things i will miss about fayetteville, AR when i move are:
1. the many walking, hiking, and biking trails.
2. exceptionally delicious bbq joints: lucky lukes, the whole hog cafe, and penguin ed's AND delicous southern chicken joints: chick-fil-a, slim chickens, popeyes, mamma dean's.
3. small town/college town trappings: craftsman and historical houses, sidewalks, tree lined roads, enthusiasm for local history, walk-to farmers markets, excellent public library.
4. all four very beautiful (even if sometimes harsh) seasons.
5. a near perfect ratio of stuff i want/need located in an area that is unmatchable in cost-of-living and affordability.

top five things i will NOT miss about fayetteville, AR when i move are:
1. occasional unabashed or unrealized blatant racism.
2. the lack of racial (and to a lesser degree, cultural) diversity.
3. humidity.
4. lack of larger music scene.
5. absence of an h&m, urban outfitters, costco, and trader joes.

top five places i realistically fantasize about moving to from fayetteville, AR are:
1. seattle, WA
2. boulder/denver, CO
3. albuquerque, NM
4. austin, TX tied with nashville, TN

top five images, in my mind, that represent AR are:
1. old main and the the many trees around the UA campus.
2. the 540, the only major freeway that brings you to and from fayetteville, AR.
3. wilson park.
4. dickson street and the view of the downtown area from mount sequoyah.
5. the clinton library.
(images in thanks to: mith242)

top five fun facts about AR are:
1. the diamond is the official state gem, designated as such in 1967 and AR is the only domestic source for diamond mining.
2. famous AR births: johnny cash, bill clinton, gen. wesley clark, john grisham, billy bob thorton.
3. state motto is the "natural state" and the state contains over 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of streams and rivers.
4. sam walton founded his wal-mart stores in bentonville, where the company's headquarters remain today.
5. after the case of brown v. topeka board of education in 1954, the little rock nine brought AR to national attention when the federal government intervened to protect african-american students trying to integrate a little rock high school. governor faubus ordered the arkansas national guard to aid segregationists in preventing nine african-american students from enrolling at little rock's central high school. after attempting three times to contact faubus, president eisenhower sent 1000 paratroops to escort and protect the students as they entered school on september 25, 1957.

so i get the map out and draw a line

al franken draws a near perfect US map from memory. am i a creep for finding this talent exceedingly hot? because i do.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

the greening

my friend recently shared some techniques she's using to reduce the amount of money she spends each month like drying clothes on a line during summer, which also happen to inclusively reduce carbon emmisions. a win-win, right? i get excited about money saving ideas, that involve recycling and reducing, especially when those ideas also involve me receiving/maintaining additional revenues. so, in an effort to share some great sites i've come upon that save money, reduce waste, and are easy to do, i've created this short list of websites. feel free to share ones that are not on this list.

paperback swap: lets you sign up, list ten books you’re willing to trade by mail, and the site gives you two credits. a book costs one credit--you “spend” one of those credits on the site to get any book they have listed sent to you. every time you send a book to someone else, you get a credit. other media sites like this: swapadvd and swaptree. i'm also a huge fan of selling all and occasionally buying my books on

local harvest: finds all sorts of retail sources for locally grown foods all around you, including door-to-door grocery delivery co-ops. these services are popular in the larger cities like LA and SF. see magda's entry for a review of, which exclusively delivers to the larger west coastal cities. for a long time, i assumed farmer's markets were my only option. thanks to local harvest, i found a great program in my area, old soul organics.

bringsome: is a new web site that connects folks who can't shake their cravings for foreign treats with travelers whose itineraries include the countries in which said treats can be found. although it’s still in pre-beta, the site has already logged over 100 requests for goods, which include ads offering to bring something back—-it's like a great big international potluck. and while the savings and the eco-friendliness of it isn't explicit, there's something about connecting yourself to fellow travelers and global strangers that makes me think it helps people be more aware of your larger community. plus, you're likely to save some money.

walkscore: walkscore allows you to put in your home address, then lists the services near your location in a bunch of different categories (grocery stores, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, movie theaters, schools, parks, libraries, bookstores, gyms, drug stores, hardware stores, and clothing stores). it also assigns a "score" which provides a rough numerical estimate of how good your house location is in terms of the resources available within reasonable walking distance. my score is 35/100, which is about what i’d expect given that i live in a relatively small town. people in larger, more urban areas have much better scores. the score itself isn’t all that useful other than as a thumbnail comparison, instead it serves best as an identification of nearby services for any address. plus, i think it humbles your need to drive. when something is only three miles away, it makes you wonder why you always jump in your car to get there.

manybooks: has tons of classics that are in the public domain and available for free. all you have to do is download the ones you want. those with kindles (not only do i want to theive your little digital book reader), you have the luxury of pointing their kindle’s web browser at and downloading away. the best part of the kindle coupled with this site is that the web browser on the kindle works anywhere that cell service works. i so want a kindle. i'm already the type of bibliophile that doesn't need to own the books i read, so i love the idea of keeping my life lighter and cheaper. plus, my local library also carries some newly published ebooks, as well, and yours might too. this bookless advantage is catching on with college campuses as well.

gazelle: is a simple-to-use website that allows you to search for the gadget you wish to get rid of. after you find your item you can input the condition it is in. for example, i typed in "blackjack ii" and i was asked if the item powers on and what condition it is in. after that, gazelle spits out an appraisal and allows me to add the item for checkout. it also has an estimate of how much the item may be worth in the future. for electronics the price trend tends to go down because people always want to buy the newest gadget. after i checked out, it prompted me to print out a prepaid shipping label and ship the item with a box. for some qualifying items gazelle will even send you a box to ship the item. after the item is received gazelle will inspect the item and confirm that it is in the condition you described, then you will be paid the quoted price. this process takes about a week according to the website. the company also guarantees that if you ship in an electronic with data on it they would wipe it clean so you do not have to worry about your privacy. they will also take items with no value for the purpose of recycling. currently the company buys mostly electronics such as cell phones or gaming consoles, but they may expand the types of items they are willing to purchase in the future.

greenyour: ever since launched on earth day (in beta), it seems to pop up on eco-blogs every other day or so in some form or another. if you ever sit and wonder how to green particular items and/or parts of your life, this is an exceedingly useful resource. everything is arranged in easy to find categories and subcategories, making this one of the most comprehensive, navigable go-to go-green sites. start out with the facts, move through to the tips and then end with products.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

when worlds collide

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

i've been following the whole mccain vs. hilton family thing from the moment daddy hilton eagerly donated twice the allowable campaign funding to mccain, to when mccain's shocking and off-topic political ad slammed the hilton's most (in)famous daugther, to mommy hilton's outraged (and well-said) huffington blog post, to the above mock ad by princess hilton herself.

i love when my guilty pleasures meet my less-guilty pleasures and create hilarious hybrids.

Monday, August 4, 2008

consumer reports: organics

The magazine lists sixteen fruits and vegetables worth buying organic. These selections are ones that tend to build up pesticide residues the most, so if you’re going to dip into organic fruits and vegetables, start with cranberries, nectarines, peaches, strawberries, pears, apples, cherries, cantaloupe, green beans, sweet bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, and lettuce.

i <3 rachel

i know, i know, all the ladies (and many dudes) do too. but my crush crippled me ages ago, i swear. anyway, if you don't know her by now, she's most famously known for hosting a show on air america and near-daily appearances in MSNBC punditry.

her background, via wiki:
A graduate of Castro Valley High School in Castro Valley, California, Maddow later obtained a degree in public policy from Stanford University in 1994. She then received a Rhodes Scholarship in 1995 and used it to obtain a D.Phil. in political science from Lincoln College, Oxford University. Her political activism has focused on AIDS and prisoners' rights, especially the prevention of the spread of HIV and AIDS in prisons. She is gay, and is an outspoken advocate for gay and progressive issues.

but like i said, i'm not alone. for more on her and her following, see this.

Friday, August 1, 2008

five for friday, part one

ten years ago, i was doing the following five things:
1. dating a boy named abe.
2. living in the mojave desert in california.
3. finishing my junior year of high school.
4. working at a drug store.
5. in the best shape of my life, running 15+ miles a week.

five things in today's "to do" list are to:
1. set-up etsy shop store front.
2. take photos of newest porcelain paintings.
3. organize office/studio.
4. reschedule optometrist and dermatologist appointments.
5. write out “thank yous” to tanzania trip givers.

five snacks i enjoy are:
1. naked juice
2. blue diamond wasabi & soy almonds
3. tropicana fruitwise
4. blue cheese and fruit
5. iced green tea

if i were a millionaire, i would do the following five things:
1. live in tokyo for a year or two.
2. buy a craftsman in san diego’s north park area.
3. go on two global volunteer trips every year.
4. get masters degrees in library science, philosophy, and computer science.
5. buy a whole new wardrobe.

five places i have lived:
1. east los angeles, california
2. rancho cucamonga, california
3. apple valley, california
4. san diego, california
5. fayetteville, arkansas

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

let me count the ways

i love ice cream, but more than ice cream, i love frozen custard. i haven't had it in about a year, because i am on an unsuccessful battle with my weight lately. but i dream about it. made with eggs in addition to cream and sugar, it typically contains 10% butterfat and 1.4% egg yolk. i assume a scoop alone amounts for your daily calorie intake. if you're ever in the midwest, i urge you to submit, however.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

deer readers

sorry for the absence lately. i've got little to report. at work: when i am not prepping for the fiscal year close, i'm unscrupulously creating a cost benefit analysis spreadsheet weighing the dozen law schools i'm planning on applying to this fall (it's getting elaborate). at home: i'm doing regular nightly runs with the ol'-ball-and-chain, sticking to a strict dine-out-only-twice-a-week rule by making meals at home, and reading like mad. so, no entries. but i've been wanting to share a little treat with my fellow urbanites. two adolescent deer have been hanging out around my neighborhood, one pictured above. i want to kiss their faces.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

yes, i am still harping on the issue

the wonk room has the rundown of why mccain is just like those very serious anti-contraception folks:

•Voted to end "the Title X family planning program, credited with helping prevent over 9 million abortions."
•Voted against funding teen-pregnancy-prevention programs and ensuring that "abstinence-only" programs are medically accurate.
•Voted for the domestic gag rule, which would have prohibited federally funded family-planning clinics from providing women with access to full information about their reproductive-health options.
•Voted to take $75 million from the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant to establish a new "abstinence-only" program that censors information about birth control.
•Declined to help reduce the need for abortion and improve maternal health by opposing effort to require insurance coverage for prescription birth control, improve access to emergency contraception, and provide more women with prenatal health care.
•Voted against legislation that would have prevented unintended pregnancy by investing in insurance coverage for prescription birth control, promoting family-planning services, implementing teen-pregnancy-prevention programs, and developing programs to increase awareness about emergency contraception

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"here's that document you requested"

someone just handed me one of these relics as a joke.

the lion's share

because i clearly suck at sitting down and doing the necessary after a long, fantastic vacation (by writing an account of the trip and putting together a nice slide show of photos), i am going to submit to the fact that it will come at its own pace. and because i had such a long hiatus, i've been storing up links to share like crazy. so in no particular theme or order, here are some early week treats:

  • future me: e-time capsule a note to yourself.

  • stickk: this site helps you commit to your personal goals by helping you create a timeline to reach them and if you fail to, you forfeit an amount of money to a good cause. participating organizations include american red cross, CARE, doctors without borders, feed the children, freedom from hunger, multiple sclerosis society, UNICEF, and united way. i haven't tried this, mostly because i'm short on the dough lately after my big trip. but i like the element of credible threat it provides. and the threat just happens to include good-doery.

  • original oregon trail: i don't think i need to say a lot about this program. oregon trail is fun and even though facebook has an OT application, it just isn't the same. so, whenever you get that itch for the real OT experience, see the link above.

  • quizlet: quizlet was started in 2005 by a fifteen year-old. makes me feel unaccomplished. anyway, the site is great because it's basically a web-based program that helps you create digital flashcards. you make a list of words, and the site teaches them to you. you can also browse other existing sets of cards.

  • metremade: free, pretty wallpaper designs for your desktop.

  • nine months of free credit monitoring: transunion, one of the three major credit bureaus, apparently lost a class-action lawsuit and the settlement involves offering up to nine months of free credit monitoring service to anyone who has ever held a credit card over the last 20 years (i.e. lots of people). this includes free access to your credit score in addition to the report, as well as e-mail alerts when something changes. you don’t need to supply your full social security number (needs last four digits) or a credit card number, and you won’t be automatically signed up for any paid subscriptions after the free period. see this website for more details.

  • fivethrityeight: developed by nathaniel read silver, this site features a system for tracking and forecasting the outcome of the 2008 US presidential election. the site is highly regarded, as forecasts based on demographic analysis proved to be substantially more accurate than those of the professional pollsters.

Monday, June 16, 2008

look at this

i'm voting republican

today is share tongue-in-cheek support for the republican party day. aside from the video above, here's an additionally funny (yet more depressing) stab: a loyalty oath for clinton supporters who turn to mccain instead of obama

in my opinion, women's reproductive health is the number one reason to vote democratic this election. with the strong likelihood of an open supreme court seat in the next four years, mccain's openly anti-abortion stance, and the nomination he's suspected to make that will change roe v. wade, i really hope that all of you urge your friends and family to vote, and vote specifically obama. for more on the kind of evil we're facing that we've got to get proactive against (from the article i linked above):
And amidst these obstacles, anti-contraceptive activists attack women's access to contraception on every other level: President George W. Bush's Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2006 bars pharmaceutical companies from selling birth control at a discounted price to university health centers and safety-net clinics, leaving low-income and college women paying full price for birth control.

why? there's really little actual reasoning behind that kind of policy. i hate using the word "evil" when talking about politics, but i can't think of a more fitting word in this instance.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

cheap trick(s)

i recently came across three free photo editing links that i thought might be of interest:

photoshop express
  • free uploading, 2GB
  • crop, rotate, edit images
  • has most basic features used by most photoshop users
  • display albums in 3D, grids, or "crop circles"

  • crop, resize, and rotate images
  • special effects
  • special fonts with top-quality type tool
  • works on mac, windows, and linux
  • no download required, nothing to install

    ez rounded corners
  • quick one time uploads
  • fast edit: rounded corners
  • see top of page for more options: ezresize, ezsendlargefiles

    i was excited to see these, because my eee is limited on space and i am happy to use these free, bare-bones, no-download options when possible. basically, i think the photoshop one has more bells and whistles for more elaborate projects, but picnik is just more ideal for easy, quick jobs. ez rounded corners is just that, a fast way to nicely round image corners. enjoy!

    **image thanks to iiiijjjj (edited with
  • you know you're in arkansas when...

    student accounts desk sent this around last week.

    Wednesday, June 4, 2008

    election '08: the collective mega (lady) boner

    so, i am excited about the finalization (at least it seems so) of the primaries for the democrats. my "man" won. but i wasn't like a lot of obama's voters who seemed to grow increasingly bitter over the rival clinton camp. in fact, when it came to their respective platforms, neither one was so markedly different from the other that i was able to choose a candidate based on policies alone.

    instead, i ultimately chose obama because in my lifetime, i have never heard people so excited about politics as those who support obama have been. and i guess, after the last seven years, i think that's one of the things i've been most concerned about: a collective disillusionment. and i think, when americans are active and excited about politics, remarkable things happen in american history: the civil rights movement, women's suffrage, the end of slavery, etc. to name a few. i want to see that within my lifetime.

    but i want to speak very quickly about clinton. she still has my respect. and i get excited when i think about her campaign and how it has done really positive things for women in politics and other professional fields. i read this today originally from and wanted to share the discussion:

    Over the course of this historic, thrilling, aggressive primary election, we've seen more female pundits than ever before writing and speaking about presidential politics. We've experienced unprecedented interest from male politicos in women's participation in the electoral process. And demands for women's leadership have been given their fairest hearing to date in the United States, with Democrats nationwide expecting Obama to give close consideration to female vice presidential prospects -- not only because there are a few wildly successful and talented women who would be great at the job, but also as a gesture of good will toward the feminist energy that animated so many Clinton supporters.

    who did YOU vote for and why? what are your thoughts about the primaries?

    youngme - nowme

    Color Wars 2008, a site I only found today, seems to have closed shop, much to my disappointment. They describe the site as a home to "an internet-wide game in which players from a number of self created teams compete for prizes and medals." One such "game" was the youngme - nowme. See some of my favorites below:

    Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    this is what i see

    last month, my baby laptop arrived. i sold my old compaq laptop and bought an asus eee pc and had a friend upgrade it to 20gb. it has a seven inch screen (see above) and weighs just over a pound. in other words, i can carry it in my purse. i love it. <3

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    i love the whole world, i really do

    run, imelda marcos, run

    i've been running for exercise with the goal to run a 5k here and there. and last week, i ran just under a total of ten miles. but i've been slowing down rather than speeding up. shin splint and knee pain are to blame. last night, i could barely eke out a mile and a half.

    me: i told cara about it and she scolded me for running with really old shoes
    me: they're nearly ten years old
    me: you're supposed to change them up every six months, because the tread wears
    me: oops, i guess
    mike: man!
    mike: melissa
    mike: i know you totally hate new shoes, but buy some online this instant!
    me: hahahha

    i know, like i need an excuse. the sad thing is, since i love my old running shoes (sauconys), i never thought to replace them while they're "intact." so, i need suggestions because clearly i don't know what i'm doing. i want something good for pavement running that won't cost me $100 or more. i avoid white, because arkansas is full of that good ol' red clay mud. and i know half of this blog's audience consists of runners, so i am at your wise command.

    on dunder and blixen

    one of the more terrifying things, in my opinion, is lightning. and i'm convinced that this area must sit directly below jupiter's perch (see video for area footage on the subject).

    but tell that to my husband, and he'll comfortingly remind you that you're irrational. because statistically, your chances for a car wreck or cancer trump lightning by far. he's right in that comparative context. but there are facts about storms that lightning-brave folks often aren't aware of or ignore:

    that's my lightning PSA. the more you know, the less you glow1.

    1. sorry, that was punful2.
    2. sorry, that was worse.

    Friday, April 18, 2008

    want to eat a hary thing

    this month has been the most stressful month of work, yet. and i've neglected posting. that is about to change with this little outlook treasure that just popped up from my best friend's little girl:

    I want to talk to you about caterpillars.Caterpillars have bristles on there backs because it helps them blend in and wich bird would want to eat a hary thing.Caterpillars have six eyes three on one side and three on the other.Caterpillars have six real legs and ten fake legs.When a caterpillar turns into a butterfly it dousent have the fake legs.I know a lot about caterpillars because i'm learning about them in class.

    your friend

    Monday, March 31, 2008

    a rupee poopy

    a text message from this wife to her husband:
    "i was just thinking about you. i was just cleaning out the catbox and i found a heart-shaped mass."

    and on a related note, i've always really liked this SNL commercial:

    Sunday, March 30, 2008

    ghosts just want to be pals, you know?

    the following is a movie review for the orphanage, by lindy west of the stranger, a seattle-based weekly reader:

    I really don't get the whole concept of ghosts. I mean, why are ghosts supposedly so mad all the time? Isn't a ghost just somebody's grandpa? My grandpa was a Norwegian carpenter named Ole who smoked a pipe and ate licorice all day. Why would he go haunt somebody? Isn't there enough licorice in heaven? I don't know a single person who's been killed—or even inconvenienced—by a ghost, and that's why being afraid of a ghost is a waste of time. You know what I'm afraid of? A HUNGRY LION! A guy with a knife! A see-through grandpa who just hangs around your house all day and rearranges the furniture (and sometimes makes a noise!) is NOT SCARY.

    Anyway. The Orphanage is a movie about Spanish ghosts—specifically baby ghosts, which are even less scary than grown-up ghosts (if that's possible). A woman named Laura (Belen Rueda) moves back to the orphanage where she spent her childhood. She has a handsome-ish husband (Fernando Cayo) and the world's cutest baby son (with AIDS!) and her orphanage is a magic Spanish castle by the sea. Unfortunately for Laura, she also has... ghooooooosts!!!

    The ghosts are lonely and bored, so they start kickin' it with Laura's baby son, and that's when the problems arise. The head ghost, Tomás, wears a dirty sack mask with rotten eyeholes and a janky face painted on it—a horror-movie cheap shot if I've ever seen one. Granted, it's fucking creepy looking, but again: What exactly is a baby ghost going to DO to me after it crawls into my bed at night and I think it's my handsome-ish husband? Cuddle me TO DEATH?

    The Orphanage is medium-scary, as long as you don't think about how dumb ghosts are. In fact, the worst shit in the movie is done to humans by humans—not ghosts. Because ghosts just want to be pals, you know?

    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    seeing the world through fugly-looking glasses

    i've got my yearly eye appointment next week and i'll make yet another attempt to wear contacts, but that usually fails because my eyes produce tears only for episodes of oprah and ridiculous fights with my husband over body language. and not a single tear for lubricating contacts, can my defunct eyes produce. i've tried them all: acuview, durasoft, tearbucket, etc. the next step is a prescription drug.

    because i can't wear contacts for more than a few hours, i'm usually bespectacled. and it's that time of year to consider what pair of glasses i should get my insurance company to buy for me. there are imaging programs out there that allow you to "try on" pairs virtually and of course, i'm game. see picture to right. this is me wearing my mom's favorite style of glasses. yes, isn't it crazy how much i look like her? every daughter's dream.

    anyway, i'm lost. i have no idea what pair to get. i might just be boring and get the same pair i got last time, which look something like this. isn't this interesting, my accessorizing dilemmas?

    Monday, March 24, 2008

    spring board

    it's been a while since i put together a board of items that i'm excited about. materalism reigns today, gentle readers! in fact, most of the items are in celebration of spring, its warmer weather, traveling, and creativity. here they are:

    1 passport and document organizer: i'm like the hugest, stumbling nerd when it comes to traveling. i have the hardest time keeping paperwork in hand, while removing my shoes, and making the proper eye-contact with the security folks. i'm hoping this will help.
    2 AA shorts: i'm not one for shorts, usually, because of my well-documented hatred for my own legs. but then again, it gets too hot sometimes for pants. so, here's about my most comfortable solution.
    3 china painting markers: i'm still loving the china painting, but i don't have my own kiln and i found these markers that work similarly and can be fired in a conventional oven. i'll be opening an etsy shop as early as this spring.
    4 sweat bands: a number of my friends are doing races/marathons and this has encouraged me to set my own goal for the same. i've got a few 5Ks lined up beginning the end of april. and i am a sweater; so these will come in handy.
    5 fancy pedometer: with some remaining gift cards from our wedding, i bought myself a pedometer watch, which calculates calories, distance (with high ratings for accuracy), and a timer. more equipment to help me train.
    6 lemon eucalyptus bug repellent: a friend of mine gave me a load of really good advice about my trip to africa. of which, included this stuff, which is a healthy alternative to deet filled products and actually works.
    7 fruitwise snacks: food, i love it. i eat it and i love it. yes, i do. and sometimes i eat all the wrong things, because it tastes the best. but here is an exception to the rule. one of these equals two servings of fruit, is sugar free (and none of that nasty fake sugar), and contains 99% real fruit juice. and they taste like fruit roll ups, which i coveted as a third grader.

    pardon my french

    but this is exactly how i feel about ruppee, fox (aka "titty"), and holden.

    Friday, March 21, 2008

    charley the cat

    i get pretty silly over the cute, quaint, and precious. but this is about the best thing i've seen on youtube yet.

    jolly time popcorn

    every friday, the office staff pulls out this thing and pops a ton of popcorn which is greedily consumed by the young men (and rarely-seen young women) of my engineering department. i think it goes without surprise that the popcorn is a huge hit amongst the students. but it is less so for the office and custodial staff who end up cleaning the bits of popcorn spilled carelessly onto the floor and near-empty bags left asunder.

    our secretary has a keen sense of humor that is often dry, sarcastic, and well-liked. she decided to take action against our students' untidy behavior. the sign below (click for enlargement) is now affixed to the popcorn machine. and i think academia is one of the few places one can get away with this sort of thing and i love it.

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    a little help from my friends

    i'm asking that you take a moment of your time and check out charity: water, an organization that magda, a blogger pal of mine, has chosen to fundraise for.

    because i'm also convinced that this is an exceptionally good cause and an exceptionally awesome organization, i'm also asking another favor from you as well: please donate! magda is asking for as little as $1, but i know you're good for more. and i'll let her explain why you should donate:

    Help me raise money for charity: water as I train for and run the America's Finest City Half Marathon in San Diego, CA on August 17, 2008.

    charity: water is a non-profit initiative bringing clean water and basic sanitation into impoverished communities. Since charity: was founded and began activity in August 2006, they have funded the construction of more than 250 wells that, when completed, will provide clean drinking water to 150,000 people.

    Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation causes 80% of all sickness and disease, and kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Many people in the developing world, usually women and children, walk more than three hours every day to fetch water that is likely to make them sick. Those hours are crucial, preventing many from working or attending school. Additionally, collecting water puts them at greater risk of sexual harassment and assault. Children are especially vulnerable to the consequences of unsafe water. Of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation, 90% are children under 5 years old.

    “But Magda,” you may ask, “what’s in it for me?” In addition to helping me build wells in Africa, India and Bangladesh, you too can experience the joy of running a half marathon without any of the discomfort, sweat, or risk of heat stroke. Why choke down those disgusting packets of energy gel when I’ll do it for you? Take it easy, stay in bed. No, I insist. Let me get up at 6 a.m. for training races. Let me dump little paper cups of water over my head. Let me wear the unflattering shorts. Really. It’s my pleasure. Read my training blog and pat yourself on the back every time I add a workout. Or comment on photos or videos. It's just as important as putting in road time.

    Donate per mile, per minute of race time, per blister. Give $1, $10 or $100. 100% of your donation goes to water and sanitation projects on the ground.

    To donate, visit:

    To read my training blog, visit:

    For more information visit charity: water at

    i've also put a helpful link to her donation page on the right-hand navigation of this blog. and note that the featured picture on this post is miss magda, herself, shown far right. yes, those are the legs of one hot, ex-model. so, if the philanthropic spirit does not quite take hold of you after reading about her fundraiser, i hope that the desire to impress a hot babe does.

    with all of that, is there really any reason why you wouldn't donate?

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008

    big brother, big (mel) sister

    i'm in the lengthy process of getting a "little," which is the terminology to say that i'm waiting to be paired up as a big sister with a young girl who will be my little sister. and i'll be considered this girl's "big." yes, inga, "big mel."

    i'm not sure what my line of thinking was to begin with, but i decided to volunteer for big brother, big sister a few months ago. the prospect of hanging out with a young person has grown on me. i haven't seen a children’s movie in a long time, because "the wait is [never] ogre" for the wife of a man whose eyes roll at the idea of a PG flick. having a "little" will give me the excuse to see enchanted and other cutesy features. and i'll have someone to play at the park with. or go shopping with and for. and finally, a consistent wii partner! you get the picture.

    the above outings/activities are all BBBS approved, but we were also given in our training a list titled "fun ideas!" which suggest things to do with our littles. and i know, the spirit of some of these ideas is to not spend a lot of money to have fun, but i'll let you judge the degree of fun from these "fun ideas!":

    -"figure out how to program your VCR," and when that is done, teach her something equally timely and useful like how to send a telegram
    -"visit a fish market, or meat market," alright, here's the good stuff!
    -"take a long ride on public transportation to the end of the line," and then??
    -"mow the lawn or wash the car together," then have her take out my trash and organize the garage
    -"make a list of people you admire--look them up on the internet," and i've long wanted to tutor tomorrow's future on cyber-stalking skills

    scolari's office space

    last week, a beloved san diego dive bar, scolari's office, closed up. no word on what it will turn into next, but if the area's fast-paced yup-ification is any indication, it will soon be san diego's 897th upscale and overpriced wine bar.

    scolari's was known as one of the more exciting places for local, live music. even my husband's crazy band played there on occasion. so even though i'm no longer in the area, a part of me was sad to hear it is gone for good.

    a story was relayed to me regarding scolari's history, however, that gave me a good laugh.

    one of the better known punk bands in san diego, tiltwheel, had played there one night. being a good punk band, they trashed some of the place and the older lady managing scolari's asked the lead singer what their name was. he quickly replied "slayer."

    she firmly declared, "slayer WILL NEVER play at scolari's office again!" and as she demanded, slayer never played at scolari's office.

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    shower me with love

    one morning last weekend, i got my slow, sleepy ass into the shower. as i usually do, i let the water hit my face for a few seconds before grabing the shampoo and doing the ol' lather routine.

    with water still in my eyes, i go to grab for the shampoo and i realize that the herbal essence i grabbed is actually a bottle heinz ketchup. confused, i double-take and notice that the conditioner is a mustard container.

    now at this point, my mind is really blown. i look down at my facial cleanser and it is a bottle of olives. all of my shower items have been replaced with condiments.

    some husbands bring their wives flowers and chocolate.

    i'm ready for the oregon trail

    or east africa, take your pick. with most of the legal paperwork complete, i’m now focusing on my vaccinations and medications for my tanzania trip in may. first of all, damn, they’re expensive! i wish i’d known ahead of time that i’d fork out around $300 to bolster my blood stream against vampiric insects. so far, i’ve either taken or will take vaccinations against: yellow fever, typhoid, malaria, hep A and B, etc. i even had to have an uncomfortable discussion today about “explosive traveler’s diarrhea” with the complete stranger that was my travel health advisor. i’ll let you, dear reader, savor that imagery for a moment…

    also, i keep wondering why malaria pills sound more like a cheap street drug (see side effects including: nausea, paranoia, hallucinogenic nightmares, etc.) than a life-saving marvel of medicine. some people, i read ON THE INTERNETS, didn’t even take it because the costs out-weighed the benefits. i’ll wait and see, i suppose.

    i was wondering if anyone reading this had (or knew someone who had) bad experiences with malaria meds. i wish i could better segregate the life-threatening realities of my trip from the general, american paranoia. i was even strongly advised against eating street food! that almost (for a pig like me) negates the whole purpose for “traveling abroad.” i’ll do what i must, however, to avoid that before mentioned ETD. talk at me, travelers.

    Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    "what sacagawea means to me," sherman alexie

    In the future, every U.S. citizen will get to be Sacagawea for 15 minutes. For the low price of admission, every American, regardless of race, religion, gender and age, will climb through the portal into Sacagawea's Shoshone Indian brain. In the multicultural theme park called Sacagawea Land, you will be kidnapped as a child by the Hidatsa tribe and sold to Toussaint Charbonneau, the French-Canadian trader who will take you as one of his wives and father two of your children. Your first child, Jean-Baptiste, will be only a few months old as you carry him during your long journey with Lewis and Clark. The two captains will lead the adventure, fighting rivers, animals, weather and diseases for thousands of miles, and you will march right beside them. But you, the aboriginal multitasker, will also breast-feed. And at the end of your Sacagawea journey, you will be shown the exit and given a souvenir T shirt that reads, IF THE U.S. IS EDEN, THEN SACAGAWEA IS EVE.

    Sacagawea is our mother. She is the first gene pair of the American DNA. In the beginning, she was the word, and the word was possibility. I revel in the wondrous possibilities of Sacagawea. It is good to be joyous in the presence of her spirit, because I hope she had moments of joy in what must have been a grueling life. This much is true: Sacagawea died of some mysterious illness when she was only in her 20s. Most illnesses were mysterious in the 19th century, but I suspect that Sacagawea's indigenous immune system was defenseless against an immigrant virus. Perhaps Lewis and Clark infected Sacagawea. If true, then certain postcolonial historians would argue that she was murdered not by germs but by colonists who carried those germs. I don't know much about the science of disease and immunities, but I know enough poetry to recognize that individual human beings are invaded and colonized by foreign bodies, just as individual civilizations are invaded and colonized by foreign bodies. In that sense, colonization might be a natural process, tragic and violent to be sure, but predictable and ordinary as well, and possibly necessary for the advance, however constructive and destructive, of all civilizations.

    After all, Lewis and Clark's story has never been just the triumphant tale of two white men, no matter what the white historians might need to believe. Sacagawea was not the primary hero of this story either, no matter what the Native American historians and I might want to believe. The story of Lewis and Clark is also the story of the approximately 45 nameless and faceless first- and second-generation European Americans who joined the journey, then left or completed it, often without monetary or historical compensation. Considering the time and place, I imagine those 45 were illiterate, low-skilled laborers subject to managerial whims and 19th century downsizing. And it is most certainly the story of the black slave York, who also cast votes during this allegedly democratic adventure. It's even the story of Seaman, the domesticated Newfoundland dog who must have been a welcome and friendly presence and who survived the risk of becoming supper during one lean time or another. The Lewis and Clark Expedition was exactly the kind of multicultural, trigenerational, bigendered, animal-friendly, government-supported, partly French-Canadian project that should rightly be celebrated by liberals and castigated by conservatives.

    In the end, I wonder if colonization might somehow be magical. After all, Miles Davis is the direct descendant of slaves and slave owners. Hank Williams is the direct descendant of poor whites and poorer Indians. In 1876 Emily Dickinson was writing her poems in an Amherst attic while Crazy Horse was killing Custer on the banks of the Little Big Horn. I remain stunned by these contradictions, by the successive generations of social, political and artistic mutations that can be so beautiful and painful. How did we get from there to here? This country somehow gave life to Maria Tallchief and Ted Bundy, to Geronimo and Joe McCarthy, to Nathan Bedford Forrest and Toni Morrison, to the Declaration of Independence and Executive Order No. 1066, to Cesar Chavez and Richard Nixon, to theme parks and national parks, to smallpox and the vaccine for smallpox.

    As a Native American, I want to hate this country and its contradictions. I want to believe that Sacagawea hated this country and its contradictions. But this country exists, in whole and in part, because Sacagawea helped Lewis and Clark. In the land that came to be called Idaho, she acted as diplomat between her long-lost brother and the Lewis and Clark party. Why wouldn't she ask her brother and her tribe to take revenge against the men who had enslaved her? Sacagawea is a contradiction. Here in Seattle, I exist, in whole and in part, because a half-white man named James Cox fell in love with a Spokane Indian woman named Etta Adams and gave birth to my mother. I am a contradiction; I am Sacagawea.

    all's well that mends well

    i'm better! i found that i did not have pneumonia, but instead a bronchial infection that caused some bad bruising of my left ribcage. so, i got lots of rest with the help of some serious pain medication and read to my heart's content (see and join!).

    so fortunately, i could mend fast enough to get back to work and focus on my ever-growing inbox. and because i usually write my entries at work (bad!), i haven't had a bit of time to post.

    but i've come across a few things i wanted to share:
    -funny science experiments e-article: "juicy beans" and other hilarious science projects funny and sometimes painfully accurate list of things white people like
    -www.myspace/ specifically, diablo cody's oscar win!

    Thursday, February 14, 2008

    Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    la pneumonia ala whine

    well, for sucks. i developing pneumonia as the chaser to that lovely flu that i only just/somewhat recovered from. i was afraid of this, because i knew all the stress i've been under (and the long hours put in at work trying to keep down the reason for stress) wouldn't mean a complete recovery. and the flu i had was just so damn respiratory.

    also, something is wrong with the internet at home, so i can only interact electronically at work, which is rare because i'm swamped under reports that are all due NOW!

    i need rest.

    Thursday, February 7, 2008

    volunteer vacation in tanzania!!!

    note the amount of exclamation points in my title for this entry. i'm excited to say the least.

    cara, my best lady friend, and i are leaving early may for a two week vacation volunteering in tanzania. i think we'll probably work in some field related to AIDS prevention, as tanzania has the highest percentage (per capita) of persons with AIDS. the photos i've seen from a trip like this (one featured, right) make the trip seem like an absolutely unforgettable experience.

    cornball alert: i also want to say, that i am thankful to karl for being so supportive of me (financially and emotionally) in regards to this trip. he's been nothing but supportive. to some degree, i know it sounds backwards to acknowledge that of my husband, but i'll be gone for two weeks and traveling like this is no small price. the airticket is pricey and so is the lodging, meals, and organizational program fees--all of which leads me to my question for you, reader (especially one reader named sati).

    i know i can eke out the funds to make a trip like this happen (with tax returns and a weekend job at my office) but i was hoping that i could also (as the organization we're going with suggests) fundraise the funds. what's the best way to go about asking people for money? who should i ask? is it uncouth to ask co-workers (especially faculty that i work with)? is there a website that is helpful in that regard? should i ask members of the community (though i don't really know them personally)? businesses? everyone, please give me your thoughts and advice.

    also, i've never traveled to an african country, so advice in that regard is helpful too. what kinds of clothes should i pack? what kind of pitfalls can i and should i avoid? what am i not asking about that i should?

    Wednesday, February 6, 2008

    butt crack kills

    sorry, i know this is on par with a fart joke, but i just can't help myself.

    Monday, February 4, 2008

    i concur

    video compliments of madison and cainen. enjoy.

    Thursday, January 31, 2008

    all in a day's work

    i spent a lot of today's workday alone in the office, because it snowed. so, i didn't have anyone to share a good chuckle at the following:

    1) i spoke to a lady today about her coming in for an interview for my old job. currently living in california, she said the best she could give was a phone interview and promptly gave me her cell number, explaining "californians don't answer our home phones often, we use cell phones." i'm not sure what cracked me up more about the statement. the fact that she spoke for the whole state and it's preference for telecommunications or the way she said cell phones, as if i'd never heard of the innovation before.


    we have one of these "pinpression" toys in our main office. it fits the office cliché only when paired with the kinetic silver ball toys. of which, we have three. in the same bookcase. someone, i haven't figured out who, keeps (un)intentionally goatse-ing the pin thingy, as featured.


    quantity one. one what? one flying rental car. while reviewing the day's accounts payables, i saw this expense item, cut off so nicely by field's character limit.

    Monday, January 28, 2008

    wierd, awesome, and weirdly awesome (nsfw)

    i had a really terrible weekend and i still don't know what to think about it. and if a dog is the point of reference, i am sicker than it. i can't remember a time i had a case of the flu this bad. and worse to know, i got my damn flu shot for the first time a few months ago. i guess i got a new strain of bug, lucky me.

    anyway, enough crybabying. it's sharing time. the internet is a birthplace of weird. and these three sites are more examples. please, enjoy or be disturbed or some combo of both: virtual one night stand: the game garfield the movie, but not that movie our favorite tv show intros, fatal farm style

    Saturday, January 26, 2008

    trouble in bungalow paradise

    a hundred yards or so from my house (yellow circle), there's a collection yard owned by the largest property management company in NWA, which is surrounded by a big wooden fence. at 1AM this morning, i was sitting on the couch when i heard heard sirens approaching. i got up when i heard a car race by my house faster than i'd ever heard a car drive down our narrow little street.

    so, as i looked out our kitchen window, i saw and heard a sequence that passed before me in a matter of seconds: a police car racing behind, a loud crash, a second even louder crash, and then the sound of wheels spinning, like the car had hit something that suspended it and the wheels kept burning. some gun shots followed. and there were suddenly several police cars around my street and they were using flood lights to look into people's homes and yards. they were there for an hour.

    when the sun rose, i walked over to the collection yard. it was clear that part of the fence had been driven through and the building behind it had been hit by what had to have been the car, but the car wasn't there. karl called the police to find out what happened later in the afternoon. all they could tell him was there was a chase and the man escaped and fled without being caught. i'm still kind of stunned over it all, especially because we really never see or hear stuff like that in this quiet little neighborhood.

    i'm anxious to hear if the guy was ever caught and i'm glad he didn't hit our car, parked on the street.

    Friday, January 25, 2008

    "i wanna sink to the bottom with you"

    cullen and sarah, friends of mine and friends of kelly, made national news today with their somewhat unusual proposal. they're both good people and i wish them the best. congratulations!

    to see the short news clip, click here.

    Thursday, January 24, 2008


    Melissa: we tied the last game. that's the first time that's ever happened to me. you must have been holding a letter worth six points?
    Karl: well ok i guess you don't
    Karl: but still, i am going to domi-crush you on this one
    Karl: that's a combination of dominate and crush btw
    Karl: which of course is an acronym for "by the way"
    Melissa: i heard you get an extra 50 pts. if you spell out "crybaby"
    Karl: you did not just say that to me

    Tuesday, January 22, 2008

    who let the clueless, pandering white dude out?

    JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA -- Mitt Romney was greeted warmly by a largely African-American crowd at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Parade in Jacksonville. He shook hands with several dozen parade-goers and even hugged a few of them.

    Only one woman was noticeably annoyed by the former Massachusetts’ governor’s presence.

    “Mitt Romney, go home!” she yelled. “You’re delaying the parade.”

    As he posed for a picture with a group of young people, the typically old-fashioned Romney was relaxed enough to quote from a popular hit single from a few years back.

    “Who let the dogs out?” he called out, as he stood there beaming in his shirt and tie. “Who! Who!”

    a bay bay

    there's nothing like the surprise of this song as a ringtone going off in your office behind you as you're greeting your department head in the morning.

    have a good laugh, karl. one good prank deserves another.

    Friday, January 18, 2008

    debunking email myths

    a few characteristics of my present life result in my receiving A LOT of conservative and/or stupid forwarded emails every week.

    although i work in "liberal" academia, there's very little progressivism in my department. and arguably, i think its my department's scientific philosophy that makes it one of the most conservative of higher education. on top of that, i'm also in the middle of the country with rural on all sides of me, in a state that most would still consider to be "the south." and then, include the fact that my mom is a tv evangelical enthusiast, republican voter and you soon understand why i receive so many emails declaring obama an islamist terrorist and swiffer products as dog killers.

    it's irritating and the little enjoyment i can get out of it comes with replying occasionally with some factual opposition.

    some of the debunking links i've shared below are oldies that everyone's aware of and then some of them might not be. and then you may know of good ones that i don't have here (and in that case, please share). wikipedia-like site that allows users open-review of various organizations. love this one and use it almost daily. note: interesting that clinton and obama are the only presidential candidates with negative items in the top 25 widely circulated email myths. one of the best sources on political donations (who gives, who gets, and how much). one of the more widely used open complaint sites on vendors, documenting specific instances of fraud. less a verification source and more just smart how-tos on riding your life of spam and scam. on non-profit funding and spending