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, Tom├ís, 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.