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

my top five six favorite news bloopers

boom goes his career

weather bug

gay climber


turtles, i like them


Saturday, January 12, 2008

birds on a wire

invited by two of the women i work with, i spent most of my saturday morning china painting for the first time. the ladies i painted with, six in all, meet every month as a club to share techniques, supplies, and a room free of husbands (and children) for a few hours.

china painting is a slowly disappearing artform, but like knitting, quilting, and crocheting, there's a increasing interest amongst a subculture of young ladies who have taken these crafts and made them their own.

before realizing that, however, i was intimidated by the lack of templates or examples i could find that i was interested in. i wasn't keen on what most of the ladies in the club were fond of painting. so, i was very pleased when i found a few artists, like dolamakes, on etsy with a similar design style as my own. it gave me a sense that i could do what i wanted today and i didn't have to spend a few hours begrudgingly painting some dusty roses on an ornate serving tray.

so, after finishing a couple of pieces, i'm excited to get my hands on some more porcelain and do more pen work (which is my preferred technique so far). i'd even like to get an etsy shop of my own up by this summer to share some of the things i've been putting together lately.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

new camera

the last new digital camera i had, i purchased almost seven years ago on employee discount from the drug store i worked for. it was a 2.1mp with no zoom.

last year, for his birthday, i bought karl a new digital camera, of which he makes a lot of talented use. but because he's always using it, i never really have the opportunity to capture the things i'd like to and flex a bit of my own creative eye. for christmas, thanks to a gift card from my boss, money from my mom, and myself, i bought a fairly nice little camera. it's a samsung digimax L85, 8.1mp with 5x optical zoom.

originally, i asked santa for the leica mini digital camera, 5mp (featured only through urban outfitters), because i liked the traditional camera look, it's super small size, and the fact that it had more mps than i had wielded previously. but to be fair to santa, he's not too keen on buying presents with that kind of price tag. so he got me some other really nice presents instead, and i found a camera that was better suited to me and my wallet.

i still like the look of the leica and its size, but i appreciate the price and capabilities of the samsung. and i think i still managed to get the look i was hoping for.

and now, i'm looking into getting one of those newfangled flickr pro accounts to house all my fancy new pics.

Monday, January 7, 2008

i'm (practically) official!

because there's a strict legal timeline that must be honored, my promotion won't be announced until later this week. as far as everyone is concerned, however, it's official. i'll be in my new office by monday of next week.

my office was built in the early 70s, and like a lot of office buildings assembled at that time, the walls are cinder block, painted off-white, and resemble an efficiently built, but emotionally cold box. so, i've begun looking at ways to liven it up a bit. my dad bought me a really nice digital picture frame and put photos from the wedding on it. and i also bought four anthropomorphic prints today from berkley illustration that i really liked (see above) and will display them together on one of my walls. i also spied a neat idea from martha stewart, taking plain ol' storage boxes and files and covering them with fabric or paper to brighten them up. here's to finally having an office again!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

see how they run

born and raised in california (where your electoral vote is safely assumed before the election even begins), i've long fantasized about moving to iowa to be part of their olympiad primaries. instead, i moved to a swing state, which has its own excitements.

needless to say, this is one of my favorite seasons. but despite how excited i get, the whole thing can be so overwhelming. so, i'm always looking for an easy-to-digest breakdown of the facts.

in the latest mother jones, there's an especially helpful candidate platform quick guide that i thought i might share. after clicking on the link above, please note that there's a whole related menu in the title line that includes other helpful charts like campaign contribution breakdowns. romney seems even more terrifying than i thought, kucinich appears even more likable, but equally out of touch with reality, and obama (though i really do like him) seems increasingly less distinguishable from clinton.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

my winter niece

on 12/22/07 while we were traveling to CO for the holidays (and had just got out of a terribly scary and dangerous blizzard), my niece was born. we had just settled into a hotel room and i got the call. she's healthy and my step-sister is healthy. and she's beautiful, dark curly hair, blue eyes, and pale skin. i am so excited about seeing her.

the only digital pictures i have to share are locked down pretty good on the site they're on, unfortunately. and i'm not internet savvy enough to post them. so, here's a few pics of brianna, if you follow the link.

Friday, January 4, 2008

on fairies, kings, and vampires

inga introduced me to, which is yet another networking site, but i really enjoy it because i get to see what my friends like to read and what new books they’re interested in reading in the future. if you’re not on it already, you should be, because i’d like you to be (see above reason).

anyway, when i was adding books into my digital library, ann rice kept popping up on the site for me to review and i kept avoiding it. i didn’t want the world to know i poured through her novels the moment they hit the shelf. and it wasn't just interview with the vampire, but her whole friggin’ collection of perverted ghosts and antebellum-era blood-suckers. but i finally broke down and realized i had to be fair. i am not just a connoisseur of the classics like great expectations and othello (which to my credit, and i need it, are among my favorites). no, between austen novels i was also enjoying much more explicit, and a lot less classic smut. i’ve come to grips with the fact that i will never be “cool” because most of my truest pleasures have been guilty.

after acknowledging my rice addition in my digital library, inga mentioned she had a rice phase too (though didn’t admit to the extent of her shame). but it got me thinking about my tastes and modes of thinking as an adolescent and how much those can change. it was strange going back and rereading (or really glancing at) a book of rice's, because i kept thinking, 'why??'

so, i made a list in the spirit of that nostalgia. and i hope that if you’re reading my embarrassing admissions, you feel like sharing too.

a short list of things about my adolescence i often roll my eyes at myself for:

-lace chokers (especially matched with doc martens): i missed boarding the glam-grunge boat when it floated aimlessly through the early 90s. but when i discovered, finally, how cool flannel shirts were (and i still feel strongly about that), i was all about it. i have an old photo of me from some informal school dance next to a boy from my trailer park (in flannel) with me wearing a floral printed “baby doll” dress, with fake docs, and a thick lace choker. i never smoked pot in high school, but i guess i unwittingly looked like i did.

-tori amos: i was a huge fan, saw her live, owned all the albums and most of the vinyl (under the pink was actually pink). i imagine that i used to sing her songs aloud often, which is cringe-worthy considering just my singing voice. and yeah, i have to admit she’s an extremely talented performer. it’s just, well, the dark, dorky fantasy of it all that i can never quite feel right about today. and yes, i know some of you still love her, but i just find myself wanting nothing to do with anymore melodramatic, croony songs about fairies.

-early engagement: i fell stupidly hard for the first boy that ever touched me down “there.” and three months after we were “going out” after the homecoming dance, he got on bended knee and proposed marriage. and i literally thought ‘um, i guess that sounds like a good idea’ and said yes. six years later and after many break-ups and make-ups, he broke it all off over AIM one christmas eve because he was bored (and i guess, so was i). love's first sting!

-king’s quest (and worse, the fiction related to it): computer games are much more prevalent now, so admitting that you are into a computer game isn’t a big deal. well, unless you’re my friend’s 50-something, single mom who is a huge (and successful) WOW fan, which is weirdly endearing. more than ten years ago, though, i was playing the whole series of king’s quest games, which was an rpg-style game in which you went around a country-side as a disguised royal solving a family mystery. i spent so much time playing these games that it seemed only natural to buy and read the helpful, yet really unecessary fiction that went along with it. let’s just say that the only person i had to talk about it with was the pasty, socially-latent kid from high school nicknamed “richard underwear.”

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

american apperal ad: alliteration via "immigration station"

i know i'm self-promoting when i link you to another blog post of mine on another blog, but i wanted to share this contentious, brave, and well-put ad put out by American Apperal in the LA Times. i'm happy to feel something positive for AA, especially because i've long felt ambivalent towards the company and its founder (and i'm not alone, apparently). is a side project of mine that actually gets more action than this one (whatever, pervs). basically, i collect immigration related articles, video, audio, etc. that i find interesting. i used to come across a lot of things in college that i wanted to keep with me, but a lot of that has become disorganized, tossed out, or lost. this is my attempt to organize it better. and i'm hoping that this database of sorts will come in handy in the future.