Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Square One TV: the music videos!

Square One TV played a large role in my childhood, or should I say, constituted a large fraction of the television I was allowed to watch growing up. This show was brilliant! And not just for nostalgia's sake. I was surfing YouTube videos for PBS music videos and I saw some that I didn't remember but still cracked me up. Here are some of my favorites that stand the test of time. My 8 year old and twentysomething year old selves approve!

Put a square, put an octagon there... parody of Good Vibrations.

8% of My Love
This is the most hilarious "love song" ever. He breaks down a pie chart of all his loves to his girlfriend (including his parents, car, and guitar), leaving 8% for her.

The Mathematics of Love
Combination song/skit where they're recording a song in ancient Rome. OK not the most realistic of premises, but Roman numerals were never so catchy and amusing. I I I words...

Angle Dance
A fabulous new wave take off.

Nine nine nine
A country ditty 'bout how every multiple of 9 you can find, it all comes back to 9.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Three Youtube treats

Youtube, it's like candy. Tasty little treats that don't offer much nutritional value, but every now and then you find a few nuggets that are truly worth it. Here are three videos I've seen recently that I've LOLed too.

Mr W.

This is a fiendishly clever ad that you have to watch all the way to the very end to understand. Seriously, this is brilliant! (And, hilarious.)

Bulbous Bouffant

A totally random animated video where they have fun saying words over and over again that just inherently sound funny. Includes galoshes, plethora, gazebo, blubber...

The Website is Down: Sales Guy vs. Web Dude

Nice little vignette about the trials and tribulations of being on tech support. From the point of view of the tech support guy's computer screen.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Caulking the sink, plus a bonus

Yet another home improvement project. I decided the giant gaps inbetween the sink and the counter were not ok. Especially since ants use it like the Holland tunnel. Look at these gaping chasms.

A quick trip to the hardware store, and I had all the equipment I needed: an all-purpose tube of caulky goodness.

Thumbs up indeed!

I made sure the sink was completely dry, and stripped off the old and no longer functioning caulky stuff. To open the tube, I cut it open at an angle.

Really, I used a karate chop.

It's kind of like using a tube of toothpaste. I squeezed out the caulk directly into the gap, making a neat line.

Minty fresh

I then ran my finger under water and pressed it firmly into the caulk and evened out the texture. How's that for power tools?

So fresh, so clean clean

You have to let it dry for at least 24 hours. And then, voila! The sink was as new. And the ants were nowhere in sight.


Bonus project

I'd always been wondering about this little ledge sticking out over the drawers on one side of the sink. I had a sneaking suspicion that it wasn't just for decoration.

Hmmm... suspicious ledge

After inspecting the area around it, I took an old knife and began working the blade around the edges. Turns out that it had been painted over and this whole (3 year) time I've been living here, I've had a built-in cutting board!

With a little soap, you'll be ready to go!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Paranoia in the 80s

Shock Shock Horror Horror
Wait, WHAT did you just say about my post about paranoia?? Why are you extracting my thoughts from my brain. I know the FBI is watching each of my keystrokes as I type this out.

But anyway...

On to a lovely trio of awesome 80s songs that deal with those little fears we like to call full-blown paranoia. Seriously, how much blow did people do in the 80s to get this freaked out about everything? I'd tell you how I came up with this list, but then I'd have to kill you.

Men at Work - Who Can It Be Now?
Before Colin Hay was the darling of Garden State followers everywhere, he was the lead singer of this band who comes from a land down under. You can practically hear the beads of sweat rolling off his forehead as his lyrics plead for the stranger outside to stay away. I hate to be a buzzkill, but if you really want to know "Is it the man come to take me away? Why do they follow me?", just open the damn door!

Corey Hart - Sunglasses at Night
Instead of accepting the lead role in Back to the Future, Mr. Hart slunk back to his dark and dank apartment with a renewed dedication to encouraging improper use of sun-protective gear around the world. He wears his sunglasses at night, for what better way is there to stalk your girlfriend whom you're sure is up to no good? Side note: Corey Hart is really, really surprisingly hot. I realized that I was picturing Corey Feldman singing the song this whole time!

Rockwell - Somebody's Watching Me
Is the neighbor watching?? The mailman? The IRS? Rockwell's pretty much afraid of everyone, despite being the son of Berry Gordy and getting Thriller-era Michael Jackson himself to lay down the vocals for the chorus. Instead of taking some good ol' neuroleptics to ease his troubled mind, Rockwell prefers to indulge his fantasies and neglect his personal hygiene. "When I'm in the shower, I'm afraid to wash my hair. Cause I might open my eyes and find someone standing there." No, it's just the fashion police reminding you that the Jheri curl is epic fail.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Why I stopped reading celebrity gossip

tabloid time
I grew up in complete and total ignorance of the celebrity world, with PBS and the occasional (gasp) Nickelodeon as my sole television comforts. Around 4th grade I was taunted with "You don't know who JOEY LAWRENCE IS??!!" (Whoah!) and other various references to my pop culture ignorance. In college, I started reading celebrity gossip on IMDb and soon other websites followed. Suddenly I knew more about actors' and actresses' romantic histories than many of my friends. I stuck with it for the next 5 or so years, cycling through phases of The Superficial, I Don't Like You In That Way, Pink Is the New Blog, and most recently, Ohnotheydidnt. I always saw it as a pleasant time diversion, harmless to humanity and like munching on candy. For free! God bless the internet. Whenever I'd be loading up the .RSS feed I'd think to myself, "gimme the goss!" a la Busta Rhymes' "Gimme Some More."

I got flak from a lot of my friends about it. Friend: "Why do you care about their lives?" Me: "I don't really, it just makes a fun read." Friend: "But it's stupid and pointless!" Me: "How is watching sports any different? It's just entertainment." Friend: "What a waste." Me: "I don't spend any money on it!" I like indulging my 'pleb' side, and I don't take kindly when people look down their noses at other people's hobbies. And then of course, there were my friends who were in on it too who shared in my dirty little secret. "Can you believe he left her for HER?", "Who's the baby daddy?" and so on, and so on.

So why the change of heart, you ask? First, paparazzi photos have become more indiscriminate and frankly, boring. Most shots are of celebs crossing the street while wearing sunglasses and holding a coffee from Starbucks. Where's the drama? "Will J Lo finish her frappucino before it melts? Tonight on Access Hollywood!"

Then, there's the unhealthy obsession with women's bodies. Time and time again, they are reduced to their parts, and the most minor flaws are critiqued. Again, obsession with weight and appearance seems decidedly drama-free. What's juicy about a celeb's 'juicy' thighs? Not much.

Finally, there is now a super invasive tone to some of these pictures that really distresses me. Are pictures of innocent children of celebs who didn't ask to be thrust in the spotlight necessary? I realize that there is also a huge industry around celebs selling pictures of their own spawn, but that's a separate issue altogether. Celebs are followed everywhere, 24/7. Going shopping, driving their cars, walking their dogs. Paps are notorious for their Machiavellian attitude towards getting pictures. They'll hang in trees, trespass, engage in high speed car chases, you name it. Tabloids and the celebrity-hungry consumers make it worth their $$$$- er, while.

Eventually, my little extracurricular activity seemed to take on undesirable and even sinister connotations. Three recent (perhaps arbitrary) items were what finally got me to take my gossip blogs off my feeds.

1. Britney Spears in her own backyard, looking up at the paps taking her photo, from what is presumably a helicopter. It is so poetic on a number of levels, and I had trouble believing she wasn't staring directly through my computer screen at me.

2. A story about Colin Farrell and his girlfriend buying a pregnancy test at a pharmacy, complete with an image of the receipt. Again, the invasion of privacy left me agape.

3. The story behind a tabloid article on Cynthia Nixon (aka Miranda from Sex and the City), in which the tabloid knowingly took false information as confirmed by her publicist and ran with the story anyway. They said she had gotten implants on a recent hospital visit, when in actuality she was there for a checkup to make sure her breast cancer was still in remission. I know, I know, whoda thunk a tabloid would in engage in shoddy and irresponsible journalism? But this is hardly one of those young women cavorting around Hollywood, coveting tabloid attention. Is there any fact checking behind these stories?

There were gems amid the crap that I will surely miss. I loved being among the first to hear about new and upcoming movies and albums, and seeing some of the first photos from movie sets. I also discovered many fun YouTube videos and helpful top 100 movie lists. There were really cool meta-celebrity articles, analyzing the importance of PR reps in today's world, or discussing celebrity news' impact on the economy (including of foreign countries) and awareness of important societal issues. Sometimes celebs would come forward with inspiring stories of prevailing over personal hardships. And of course, there's a certain personal satisfaction with having a salacious celebrity story to share. But alas, not enough wheat to justify all that darn chaff.

So long, Angelina Jolie. Farewell, Tom Cruise's adorable daughter. It's been a fun ride, but I'm getting off the train.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Most girl power songs

Lest the last list left you feeling low (how's that for alliteration?), let's set sail for greener feminist pastures. It warms my heart to know that I had a ton of songs to choose from for this entry of pop songs that are decidedly girl power, and not in the "GIRL POWAH" Spice Girls kind of way. (Disclaimer: I love them.) Check out the sizeable Wikipedia category of songs with feminist themes, which seems to be arbitrarily populated. Hear us roar, we're too big to ignore, etc.

Lesley Gore - You Don't Own Me
The 60s wasn't all girl groups fawning over dudes. Lesley told them how it is! She lets her boyfriend know that she is an independent woman, a human being with a mind of her own, and well, free to say and do whatever she pleases. Ahead of its time for sure, especially based on her hair. This was early 60s, not late 60s.

Janet Jackson - Control
This autobiographical song is about, well, control. It's not about love so much as her taking control of her life and career. Janet started way young in showbiz and put out sugary generic teen pop music under the thumb of her dad-manager, and was married and divorced before she was out of her teens. She then wanted a new look and sound to jumpstart her music career and reflect her new life outlook, and salvation came in the form of brilliant producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Late 80s Janet Jackson is one of my biggest pop weaknesses. She's in control, and she likes it.

Madison Avenue - Don't Call Me Baby
When ladies hit the town for the evening, they know they getting objectified and hit on is par for the course. But the lead singer of Madison Avenue must send guys home with their tail between their legs. She delivers a catchy put-down to the all the shallow guys trying to get with her. I wonder how many unsuspecting would-be pickup artists have boogied down to this track on the dance floor? "Don't underestimate me boy, I'll make you sorry you were born." Boo-yah.

I have a personality (test result)

No Obligation
Through school I took the Myers-Briggs personality test, and just got my results today. This is a free service they provide for students, who knew? Turns out I'm an ENTP. Apparently this shocked my dad, who was sure that I was FP.
I'm not so sure about the scientific validity of personality tests (hello, Barnum effect!) I subscribe to the theory that traits are simply social cognitive constructs. But it's nevertheless an interesting self-knowledge exercise. Some highlights of the ENTP type:

*ENTPs are frequently described as clever, cerebrally and verbally quick, enthusiastic, outgoing, innovative, and resourceful.
GO ON...

*They tend to have a perverse sense of humor as well, and enjoy playing devil's advocate.
Hahaha! I'm perverse y'all.

*They tend to become extremely petulant about small setbacks and inconveniences.
Cue the innocent whistling

What type are you? (You know you want to...) Apparently T's are largely male, and F's are largely female. So I'm bucking the gender trend. I checked on my opposite to see if it resonated with me, the ISFJ. Apparently they are quiet, conscientious, and prioritize family traditions and harmony. Maybe they're onto something. Jung is apparently alive and well. Or so my shadow self tells me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How to fix a drawstring waistband

Shorts project 1
Here's a simple little clothing hack I devised for fixing when your drawstring elastic waistband (or hoodie sweatshirt cord things) come out of the loop they're supposed to stay in. When this first happened to my beloved old sweatshirt, first I spent a good deal of time grumbling at myself for not tying the ends properly in bigger knots to keep them from escaping into the fabric. This act alone will make the rest of this advice a moot point! But if you're like me and made this mistake...twice...with a pair of gym shorts is on the way! From yourself.

Materials needed:
Clothing plus lost band
Ballpoint pen
Scotch tape

The trick was to find a needle-like object that is pointy, skinny, and flexible. After ransacking my apartment, I stumbled upon the center ink thing from my ballpoint pen. I fastened it to the elastic with tightly wound scotch tape.
Shorts project 2

It's important to move the pen/elastic combo slowly, and to know when to push against the fabric and when to ease up. Once you begin to trace the path around the waistband, beware of snags where the fabric leaves only a small space between the stitching for the drawstring, and also of poking through the fabric instead of following the elastic band path.
Shorts project 3

I found that a bunching technique works pretty well. With one hand I pushed the fabric over the ballpoint, and used the other hand to pull it through.
Shorts project 4

Eventually you should come out the other end again. Hooray!
Shorts project 6
Shorts project 7

Be sure to tie those big knots in the end that you were too lazy to do in the first place. And enjoy your old clothes all over again.
Shorts project 8

Monday, July 21, 2008

Least girl power songs

Classic 50's Sign
Here's a good two parter. Let's start with the negative and then go positive! I've noticed that some pop songs make me feel all like the emancipated post-modern feminist that I am, and other songs... don't. OK, there's a lot of songs that would fall into both categories. By the way, if you listen to pop song lyrics about love really carefully (a practice which I don't recommend), you'll basically never hear the extolling of happy and healthy relationships. It's either clinginess and infatuation, or being free and single. Can you think of a healthy relationship/love song?
Here's just a few where the underlying sentiment reminds me of nails on a chalkboard. The following are decidedly not girl power anthems.

The Ronettes - Be My Baby
OK, this song is damn catchy. It's emblematic of the Phil Spector Wall of Sound style that dominated the early 60s. It was featured on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Brian Wilson worships it. But if you listen to the lyrics, they are sosososo bad. Basically the girl is singing that she's willing to give up her life for this dude and follow him around like a little puppy (but they'll look really good while they're doing it). And if I'm correct, this fantasy of subservience (he gets three kisses for every one she gets, do the math) is not even based on a real relationship. She's only just seen him! Enjoy this ode to codependency.

Kylie Minogue - Better the Devil You Know
If you are American, you've never heard this song. If you aren't American, there's no way you haven't heard it 8000 times. See, everywhere in the world except for the USA, Kylie's a pop superstar on the level of Madonna. In Amurrica, she's along the lines of a 2-hit wonder. This is one of her biggest dance songs from the early 90s that never made it stateside.
Kylie sees the Ronettes' masochism and raises them to infinity. While Ronnie Spector is wrapped up in a fantasy about a man she doesn't even know, Kylie already knows she has a craptastic dude on her hands. She's basically like "well yeah, you strayed, and are a sucky boyfriend, but I'll take you back because better the devil you know!" She sings with such innocence and verve, you'd never know how dark these lyrics are. "I'll be here every day, waiting for your love to show"? The clock's a-tickin', girl! On the plus side: Nick Cave was so impressed with this song he asked her to record a duet with him, and thus a cool collaborative partnership (presumably of equals?) was born.

Tammy Wynette - Stand By Your Man
I can't come down on the whole of country music for lack of girl power, since I know quite a few rousing anthems from some other country lasses. But then there's this little ditty. Tammy's had to defend the song basically since its release, derided by the likes of 60s-70s era feminists and Hillary Clinton. Again, I think the lyrics speak for themselves. Her role in the relationship is basically that of the Giving Tree. She provides him with two arms to cling to, something warm to come home to, yadda yadda yadda. In looking for positives here... wow, I never knew hair could be teased so high! Ooo shiny sparkly red dress!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rusty and leaky no more!

There's a wee bit of a drought going on California right now. For some time my toilet has been making a constant 'drip drip drip' noise throughout the night. Putting on my Sherlock Holmes cap, I deduced that this sound was most likely water. Finally I decided it was time to do something about this. I have to admit, I'd never tried any home repairs of the... aquatic variety. Luckily the internet is my friend and showed me the diagrams of toilets' inner workings. Did you know how many symptoms faulty toilets can have? They can leak from the tank to the floor, the bowl to the floor, the tank to the bowl, groan, whistle, hiss, gurgle, crack, sing Celine Dion songs... you name it. Luckily, there are very few parts, and a lot of different problems involve the same parts.

Based on a few tests that would make a Bayesian proud, I determined that my flapper was the problem and water was leaking from the tank into the bowl. No no, not my 1920's fringey dress. The flapper is the main mechanism that makes the water go-no go into the bowl. It's connected by a chain to the toilet handle. An old flapper often gets 'wavy' on the sides and doesn't sit fully onto the round thing. (I'm sorry, I can only use so many technical terms before I descend back into my stock descriptors.) You know those toilets where you have to hold down the handle for a long time? It's totally the flapper's fault. Constant dripping sound? Flapper. Too much OR too little water for the flush? Flapper flapper flapper.

Anyway, all toilet replacement parts are super cheap at the hardware store. I bought a replacement flapper w/base combo that installs on top of the old one. I turned off the water supply via turning the valve thing and disconnected the supply tube. I drained the tank of water, and scraped out the considerable amount of rust that had accumulated. I then used a hairdryer to fully dry the round thingy area. The replacement thing mounted right on top of the old thing. I also put in a few bottles of water to try to minimize the water in the tank for the environment and all that. Now it works like a charm. Toilets are really one of the easiest things in the world to repair. So if yours is at all annoying, don't be afraid to use the internetz for diagnosis and cheaply replace the faulty parts. Score one for DIY!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sarah Haskins = awesome

I'm not the only one with a serious girl crush on Sarah Haskins. She's getting noticed all over the blogsphere (and even NPR!) for her hilarious videos for Current TV's show InfoMania. She lampoons advertising and marketing in a segment called Target: Women. She's covered everything from yogurt to wedding dresses to botox to suffrage. She's a Harvard grad and Second City alum (hard to decide which is more impressive!) whose background in improv and impeccable comic timing mean that she's going to have a bright career ahead of her. I'd say she's also an accomplished tri-athlete, but I'm pretty sure that's a different Sarah Haskins.
While some blogs are clamoring for her to join Saturday Night Live or the Daily Show, I think she should make it on her own terms. We need more women comics out there, and funny ones at that. Why should she have to come up through the ranks of male-dominated mainstream media? As much as I love Jon Stewart and old-school SNL, she deserves a show in her own right. And if this earnest and upbeat essay about choosing a career in show business doesn't win you over to her camp, nothing will!
Here's her latest video, "Feeding Your F---ing Family."

Friday, July 18, 2008

Just a happy kid

I'm having so much fun with the blogging thing! I've got a lot of ideas in the pipeline (especially for 80s music, bwahaha), so I hope I can keep this up pretty regularly. Still a few kinks to work out, such as the html for flickr pictures and such. But it's great how it's changing what I do, from paying more attention to documenting my days, getting to share ideas with my friends, and even taking more pictures and joining flickr. I feel so Web 2.0, and like a kid in a candy store!

"When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things." I Cor. xiii. 11. Let me just say what utter crap I find this sentiment. Maybe it's because I was a goofy camp counselor, or that I study children for my career, but there is always a time and a place for "childish things." A sense of wonder and excitement about life and little things, doing a silly dance, singing at the top of your lungs, being totally unselfconscious, being brutally honest, openness and positivity, having a crazy imagination... I mean, stuff like throwing temper tantrums is better left to the days of yore, but overall us old and jaded adults can stand to learn a lot from children. Now excuse me while I go turn cartwheels in the grass and bask in the sunlight!

Now playing: Nada Surf - Happy Kid
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Scary obsessive love songs

I just love making music lists! Today's list is a theme that doesn't even restrict itself to the 80s. Nay, we have the 80s, 90s, and 00s representin' below. Instead of good old fashioned love songs, how about we skip right to the creepy ones embracing sentiments that send most of us running for the hills.

The Police - Every Breath You Take
It's hard to believe that this has been a popular song at weddings, clearly by couples who haven't listened to the lyrics. When I fantasize about a romantic partner, I don't usually think of a man who watches every move I make, every word I say, every single day. That makes me think 'taser'. Nor does it make me think "hmmm I should record this for my dead friend the Notorious B.I.G.," but apparently Puff Daddy thought differently.
Unlike a lot of neon-colored crazy-haired videos from the 80s, this is a moody black & white video that stands the test of time. While it might not be an endearing song, Sting's brilliant lyrics do a good job of capturing the mindset of a stalker. I just hope he didn't do too much research into his role.

Garbage - #1 Crush
This is the ultimate Fatal Attraction love song (she even says she won't be ignored!) from the mid-90s Romeo + Juliet soundtrack. "I would lie for you, beg and steal for you" makes me think she might not make the healthiest girlfriend, but now I know who to hire if I ever want to shoplift or off someone.

Weird Al - Do I Creep You Out?
So this is an intentionally hilarious video, a parody of Taylor Hicks' American Idol song "Do I Make You Proud." Animated by the folks over at JibJab (creators of the "This Land is Your Land" video), it is incredibly funny, so perhaps not so "scary" after all!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy birthday to you

2) Making a wish!
Originally uploaded by pyza*
It's birthday season among many of my friends and family. There's a lot of American customs that are built around birthdays: the cake, the ice cream, the presents, the song "Happy Birthday", having a group of people hoist you in the air the number of years you've been alive and hitting your butt on an oar in front of a room full of people... oh wait, that last one was just at my summer camp.
So, back to the normal American birthday customs. In a recent discussion with a friend of mine from Bulgaria, she mentioned that her homeland does things a little bit differently. I don't know if this extends to other countries in the area. When it's your birthday, you share the happiness of your day by giving other people birthday cake and yummy treats. (In the event of a birthday dinner at a restaurant, the birthday boy/girl picks up the tab.) She had brought in homebaked goodies for her potentially befuddled American officemates on her last birthday. She also said giving Americans birthday presents was "really annoying", but apparently the gift giving custom is the same in both countries, and that's her personal grumblings.
If I'm doing my birthday math correctly, the amount of food given and received in both the American and Bulgarian traditions should be about equal for a full year, presuming everyone is nice to everyone else, and eats about the same. But slightly different implications lurk beneath the seeming mathematical egalitarianism. When you pick up the tab on your birthday, you're essentially saying that happiness is best shared with other people. It's a bunch of giving at the same time from one giver. When your friends foot the bill on your birthday, you're saying, "today is MY day and by golly you're all going to be happy for me!" It's a bunch of getting at the same time for one recipient. And doesn't that seem fitting in our land of individualistic thinking? (Please forgive me for the overgeneralization, cultural psychologists.)
I'll have to decide what I want to do for my own birthday dinner in a couple weeks time. Who knows? Maybe I'll go all Bulgarian! (Just don't sing me "Happy Birthday", which is actually a copyrighted song. How much in royalties do you owe now?)
EDIT: Thanks to yet another Bulgarian for clarifying that the giving custom is about foooood, not presents. I should fact check before I post these bad boys!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I don't know whether to laugh... or to dance!

80s Dance
Originally uploaded by TheBeej
I adore new wave music from the 80s. Alas, you see, there is no new 1980s music coming out. So when I want to hear new stuff, I have to dig deeper and deeper into 80s obscurity. Thanks to various music blogs and great 80s dance clubs, I have expanded my music collection til it's almost bulging. Allow me to walk you through some of the most hilarious, danceable music videos on You Tube.

Silent Circle - Touch in the Night
I learned a new genre of music with this Italo Disco band from Germany. Yes, it seems like they should be Italian, but they're not. Not to be confused with A Perfect Circle. Wonderful English-as-a-second-language lyrics. What the heck is a 'touch' in the night? Like things that go bump in the night? The lead singer's hilarious hairdo and two-step, expressionless dance move (starkly contrasted with an overactive quite happy keyboard player). The tune is relentlessly catchy though, you have been warned!

Trans-X - Living on Video
Again, a ridiculously catchy hook with ridiculous lyrics. Stop... living on video? What does that have to do with "travelling through the lightbeam" and going into hyperspace?? Again, far-from-inspired dance moves, poor human imitation of robots, and terrible hair should not stop you from getting down to this gem from these Quebecois laser-firing sound effect addicts.

Danielle Dax - Cathouse
She's like a combination of 60s go-go girl and 80s goth. Her stuff is decidedly artsy-weird, but interesting. She's also British. Who wouldn't want to get down in the Cathouse? Rawrrrr.

Chipmunk or squirrel?

I make no secret of the fact that I loathe squirrels with every fiber of my being. While other people find them utterly adorable, I sneer at their gray faces, fattened with campus scraps to the size of small dogs, ambling around devoid of evolutionary agility. I used to try to scare goody two shoes girls in college by talking in great detail how I wanted to kill and grill the campus squirrels (and this from a vegetarian!).
In Lake Tahoe last weekend, I saw what I thought was the cutest little chipmunk. He was a fast little guy so the picture is a little obscured, as seen above. I consulted a friend with animal behavior expertise and he informed me that it was, in fact, a golden mantled ground squirrel. The ears were a giveaway. So I guess I have to qualify my squirrel theory. They aren't all evil giant campus gray squirrels after all.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

To nowhere...

Door to nowhere
Originally uploaded by dizzy-miss-lizzy
I took this picture at a vineyard in Sonoma Valley, California a couple years ago. Maybe it's just the Camus-loving existentialist in me, but I just adore absurdist things.
At times in my life, I've felt like I might as well be going through that door. Perhaps one of those times is now-ish. Argh, is anyone in their 20s not going through some type of quarterlife crisis?
Though the world is an uncertain place, at least we can all celebrate the yet-to-be-determined journey we're on together, courtesy of the always-absurd David Byrne:

I don't know where I'm going, I don't know where this blog is going, but I'll be damned if I can't bop along to the Talking Heads with the best of 'em!
Now playing: Talking Heads - Road to Nowhere
via FoxyTunes

My blog name, let me show you it.

Originally uploaded by Swansea Photographer
One unexpected frustration with setting up a blog: the name. First there's the whole "Ooo! I want to be original and clever and funny!" thing. It ain't easy. I was trying to think of foods I like, puns involving the word blog... all a no-go from a creative standpoint. Apparently lots of people have already planted their flags on everything from my favorite poems to random 80s songs to Depeche Mode lyrics. I realize I'm a little late to the blogging game, but come on people!

But then, scrolling through my iTunes favorite songs I found a little gem from the Lovin' Spoonful and figured it jibed with the vibe I was going for. And when I gave it a try...

What joy! What rapture! And thus a blog was born.
Incidentally, on a Mac running Leopard, Cmd + Shift + 4 does a screen capture. Hence the illustration above. Muchos, muchos gracias, Lifehacker. Without you, I'd still be using Internet Explorer on my Dell with XP and an ice box instead of a refrigerator.

Blog fall down and go boom

Greetings and welcome to my new blog of randomness and musings. Sit down and have a cup of tea, I hope you like it here!
So, first random thought. "Fall down and go boom" is a widely used expression that you're probably familiar with. A quick Google search reveals that everything from Naomi Campbell to the stock market to traffic reports(?!) is falling down and going boom these days.
I presumed that this expression was a product of the internet age and lolcats. But when I searched news archives for boomtasticness, it was in articles from as far back as the 1930s! Does this mean pre-World War II teenagers said things like, "Oh Jean's a really swell girl, but when she does the jitterbug, she fall down and go boom?" Going further back, did the French aristocracy fall down and go boom? Did Hamlet go to sleep, perchance to fall down and go boom? We may never know the answers to these questions, but suddenly the Oopsie Daisy doll from my childhood looks like a serious historical artifact.