You Won't Be Making Any Of That $9999.00 Back From Me, Mr. (mor)Man.

Note the car parked in front is NOT my wee Honda.

Alan Stock, the CEO of Cinemark donated $9999.00 to support Proposition 8. Now, we don't go to movies that often, but I'll tell you: when Watchmen comes out in March I won't be seeing it at the Century Landmark Theater in Evanston, or any other Cinemark theater for that matter.


Alas, Poor David! We Hope You're Well...

....enough to finish the last four episodes of Doctor Who you promised us.

David Tennant just underwent surgery to correct a slipped disc. He had to pull out of the RSC production of Hamlet and now...now.... it seems he...it seems he....he might not *choke!*...be able to...*sob!!!* finishupthelastfourepisodes....*whimper!!!* as....THE DOCTOR!


David Tennant kisses us goodbye??!??

Well, the pain he was experiencing does explain Season 4 a bit, though. Let's just say...not the best season.

This is NOT my idea of "Christmas cheer." Or "happy holidays."


Best, Most Colorful Verbal Fight EVER:

(Hey, some people put together Dream Teams, I dream up pairing off characters from different movies in different ways. It's my thing.)

John Malkovich in Burn After Reading

vs Ralph Feinnes in In Bruges.

Don't bring popcorn: you're mouth will be hanging open in shock from the first uttered syllable 'til one of em pulls out a gun and disqualifies himself.


Homeland Security Indeed! FEAR DA COUNTRY FULLA VAMPIRES!!!

I was thrilled when I'd heard Obama had appointed Johnette Napolitano, lead singer of Concrete Blonde, Secretary of Homeland Security. Excellent choice! Her haunting, powerful voice would make any terrorist think twice before messing with HER country! Indeed, terrorists listening to the lyrics of "Bloodletting" or "Long Black Car" might think we were populated with vampires! Good! FEAR US!!!

She's also got the perfect look for the job. She can class it up for meetings with heads of state, or flash one of her kick-ass "don't mess with me!!!" tattoos.

Her tattoos are also a clear message to terrorists: "I can deal with needles piercing my skin constantly and repeatedly for hours at a time - I can certainly deal with YOU!"

And then I realized I'd missheard the announcement. Johnette Napolitano is working on a new album whereas Arizona governor Janet Napolitano received the Obamappointment.

I wonder if she has any tattoos? Or if she belts out "The Sky Is A Poisonous Garden" when driving to meetings with ObamEmmanuel? My confidence in Obama's choice would be complete if either were the case.

Despair, Inc. Takes A Jab At Us Bloggers

Fine! Be that way, Despair, Inc.! But I notice you don't have a poster for Twitterers who have so much more to say to even fewer, because usually (maybe) only one other person knows what the heck the Twitterer is even talking about, or what Twittering even is! HA! I remain content with my two dedicated followers who gladly contact me when they don't know what the heck I'm talking about. Only, don't contact me about Twittering you two, because... I really don't get it. From what I can tell it's like IM-ing on your blog - including the indecipherable abbreviations that I REFUSE to learn - especially when the message wasn't meant for my eyes in the first place.

Those stupid abbreviations - they're an insult to my eyes! They're all over the Webbernet in the form of Twitters and IMs and even threads and wall posts on Facebook. For the record: if you can't take the time to write out a message, I don't take the time to read it. A bunch of grouped together lower-case letters could be the most brilliant thing EVER, the most concise answer to my query and all queries ever queried; or it could just be your pet marmoset was picking through your keyboard for crumbs.

Here's a tip: I ALWAYS go with the marmoset. Ever since I saw that one pee on Johnny Carson's head, I've had a soft spot for marmosets.

That was one of the funniest things I ever saw when I was 8. That and Ernie Kovacs' Nairobi Trio!

Hee! Crazy apes! ....But I digress from...something...where was I...?

Oh yes. Textybreviations.

"Abbreviations??" It takes me twenty times longer to get a feeling for what the heck you're writing to me in a text message, for example, than it would have you'd TYPED IN THE OTHER THREE LETTERS OF EACH WORD and completed the freaking sentence! "LOL?" Okay, I've seen it so often I get it. "SOS?" I'm on my way. "OU812?" Pretty great album when I was growing up. But beyond that I'm lost and after about 10 seconds of trying to decipher your encrypted code, I just don't care anymore and I delete the message or write back "?."

Or, I get pissed off and call you.

You do not want to receive that call.

I receive something like, I don't know, "%*@:-( ? 02 @TEOTD UR GR8 4 MTG @ SBX THX 4 NTS THO IBIWISI ^5 PROMO! JUADLAM!! BFFEEEE!!! (^~^~^~^~)." After all the effort you put in to obfuscating your message to that level, I will probably call you. You're all chirpy and twittery and cheerful, going about your business and you pick up the phone to hear my frustrated ass saying, without preamble, "WHAT THE HELL DID THAT EVEN MEAN??? NEXT TIME, JUST CALL ME!!!! Decipher THIS!: *#&^*&^%!!!!!" *slam!*

Okay, I've never done that, but trust me, the temptation has been great. And both of my brothers know not to text me in code.

I know I'm no grammar guru, I often like to make up words to convey stuff on my blog, but if I'm going to learn a new language it's going to be Spanish or German or Old English, not lazypoke'n'jab.


When A Picture Says A Thousand Words

This one, to me, says "I tried to sell Obama's Senate seat and got busted by the Feds."

I'm still surprised he wasn't busted for lurking around the changing rooms at Fleet Feet.


"I Don't Know How You Came To Get The Betty Davis Knees,

but worst of all young man you have Industrial Disease!"

I don't know how I lost track of this song for so many years, but it was like bumping into a friend I hadn't seen in ages when I heard Dire Straits "Industrial Disease" on the radio the other day. I immediately found it on my iPod and have listened to it repeatedly most of the way to and from work the past two days. The lyrics are very fun to sing along to in the car, you see! One of the best sing-along songs I've ever found. It's got a great beat for running and clever lyrics to boot!

"Industrial Disease" was on almost every running list I made from my freshman year on through the '90s, and Love Over Gold was one of my favorite albums all through high school. I discovered it, and Dire Straights/Mark Knopfler, through this clever song. It may be even more relevant today considering the state of the economy.

You can listen to it here while reading the lyrics below. Unfortunately, Dire Straits didn't produce a video for it to rival the one they did for "Money for Nothing." To quote Jareth* (as I do): "Such a pity." (*ButterNugget: Note that I linked to Jareth's Escher costume on what may be an addition to my "favorite blogs" list. You're welcome!)

Warning lights are flashing down at quality control
Somebody threw a spanner and they threw him in the hole
There's rumors in the loading bay and anger in the town
Somebody blew the whistle and the walls are coming down
There's a meeting in the boardroom, they're trying to trace the smell
There's leaking in the washroom, there's a sneak in personnel
Somewhere in the corridors someone was heard to sneeze
Goodness me, could this be Industrial Disease?

The caretaker was crucified for sleeping at his post
They're refusing to be pacified its him they blame the most
The watchdogs got rabies, the foreman's got fleas
And everyone's concerned about Industrial Disease.
There's panic on the switchboard, tongues are tied in knots
Some come out in sympathy, some come out in spots
Some blame the management and some the employees
And everybody knows its the Industrial Disease.

The work force is disgusted downs tools and walks
Innocence is injured, experience just talks
Everyone seeks damages and everyone agrees
That these are classic symptoms of a monetary squeeze
On ITV and BBC they talk about "The Curse"
Philosophy is useless, theology is worse
History boils over, there's an economics freeze
Sociologists invent words that mean "Industrial Disease"

Doctor Parkinson declared, "I'm not surprised to see you here
You've got smoker's cough from smoking, brewer's droop from drinking beer.
I don't know how you came to get the Betty Davis knees,
But worst of all young man you've got Industrial Disease!"
He wrote me a prescription he said, "You are depressed.
I'm glad you came to see me to get this off your chest.
Come back and see me later. Next patient, please!
Send in another victim of industrial disease."

I go down to Speakers' Corner and I'm thunderstruck
They've got free speech, tourists, police in trucks.
Two men say they're Jesus - one of them must be wrong
There's a protest singer he's singing a protest song, he says
"They wanna have a war to keep us on our knees!
They wanna have a war to keep their factories!
They wanna have a war to stop us buying Japanese!
They wanna have a war to stop Industrial Disease!"

"They're pointing out the enemy to keep you deaf and blind!
They wanna sap your energy, incarcerate your mind!
They give you Rule Brittania, gassy beer, Page Three,
Two weeks in Espana and Sunday striptease!"
Meanwhile the first Jesus says, "I'd cure it soon:
Abolish Monday mornings and Friday afternoons."
The other one's on a hunger strike, he's dying by degrees
How come Jesus gets Industrial Disease??


Is It Just Me,

Or does Obama look like he's about to cry?? Did he think she'd refuse?? (o;

On the flip side, look at the cat that ate the canary there beside him.

This pic needs a caption. Or some dialogue.

I have to say I'm thrilled with Obama's pick of Rahm Emmanuel for Chief of Staff and Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State! I only named those two because they're the two I'm most familiar with - both being Illinoisans! I've always known that I was the center of the universe, now this new administration is FINALLY setting about proving it!

Jeff Richardson (Tina Fey's Husband) Told Vanity Fair He Was the "Joe Biden of Husbands"

because he 's prone to "drop the bomb" in interviews. "I remember the biggest trouble I got into....Oh my god."

I read that article this morning.

This afternoon, as if to prove his point, he went and dropped a Joe Biden, telling Vanity Fair in A DIFFERENT INTERVIEW how his wife got the scar on her cheek. A horrible event she's been keeping to herself and from the media for years because it upsets her parents terribly every time they think about it. I know you can find out for yourself by doing a nanosecond search, but I feel...wrong posting a link. Out of curiosity several years ago, I went to find out how she'd gotten that scar only to find her quiet comment that she appreciated her fans' interest, but preferred to keep the topic private, knowing we'd understand.

Tina Fey was the best thing to happen to SNL since about 1986; and the most powerful ambassador for women in comedy since...maybe Katherine Hepburn.

OMG how lucky was SNL that she looks almost exactly like Sarah Palin??? Which is, incidentally, the only good thing I can say about Sarah Palin.


"There Are Three People In Love With You In The Chicagoland Area!"

This is an ad I receive on Facebook every day. Oh, sure, the numbers change to grab my attention - sometimes only one person is in love with me, sometimes there are five (!!!) - but I've never been tempted to "Find Out Who!" because I know it's a marketing strategy to get my information for...something.

That is, I wasn't tempted to find out who until this morning.

This morning, there was a second (notsoSanta) clause:

"...And One Person Who Hates You!"


Now 3 people in love with me through Facebook is pretty average, but someone HATES me? Who? WHO COULD IT BE?? This is the first time I was ever tempted to "click here!" to "find out who!" It's totally James, isn't it? Did he say something to you? What do you mean, "Which James?" Does it MATTER which one? I'll bet they all hate me! Only one of them is bold enough to tell the entire Facebook universe so!

...Okay, I DID click to "find out who!" but I refuse to "enter [my] cellphone number." Hahaha *relieved laughter!* It was just a marketing ploy! Hahaha...Right? Just a ploy? Am I right? I'm right, aren't I? Haha...hmmm. I mean, there isn't really someone who actually signed into Facebook to tell the world s/he hates me, right? Oh, come ON!! FINE! I DRAW THE LINE, HATER!! You can just go on hating me in SECRET! Planning your plans and dreaming of ways to make me miserable! HA! (even if it's only for the fact that I won't give away my cell phone number to what I rationally KNOW is a marketing ploy,) I'll never know the depths of your hatred unless you face me!

And give me the opportunity to make it up to you, whatever it was I did?? Cookies maybe?? Soduko puzzles?? Dinkel's?? A letter written in my own blood???

Damned marketers.


*Yawn* Can't Scare Me!

Ha, Reuters! You're too late! Isaac Asimov and Frederick Pohl had me freaking out about the possibility of a massive earthquake occurring in the midwest OVER 20 YEARS AGO. In fact, I was supposed to interview Isaac Asimov before their book Our Angry Earth was published for a college journalism class I was taking, but the interview fell through because he was ill. He died in 1992.

In the book, written in 1991, they warned the three of us who read it about things like global warming and improper farming techniques and the dangers of pumping water from the massive water table located directly above a major MAJOR faultline to supply the fountains and megahotels in the desert. Places like, say, Vegas. Which is in the desert. More recently, I got to view the beautiful lush grass and deep pools of Palm Springs, California. Which is also in the desert. If you like green grass, and you want a nice lawn, (to be said in Sam Kinison voice:) Move to where the WATER IS!!!!!

This book had a profound effect on me. I can't say I can recommend it because it scared the bejeesus out of me. Still does. If one of you had recommended it for my Halloween contest, you woulda won hands down. It scares me because UNSCRUPULOUS people with money who only want to make money and money and more money with no regard for anything else get away with doing a LOT of damage. And money is powerful. What the heck can I do about so much as shutting off the fountain at the Bellagio? You know, the one you can see from the plane as you fly overhead?

NOTHING. I can do NOTHING about it. THAT's why the book scared me so much. I can whimper and shake my fist and worry and care, and point to people who have no money and need water, and think about the damage the unfathomable damage a massive earthquake - that may have been avoided - could do to the midwest, and It. Gets. Me NOWHERE.

It's one thing to feel insignificant in comparison to the universe, but quite another to feel powerless and insignificant in the face of greed on your own pitiful little planet.

The fact that Vegas pretty much doubles in size every few years and continues to find new and stunning ways to waste massive quantities of water while concurrently tampering with the water table above the New Madrid fault sure keeps me cynical. Case and point: I'm doubtful that the human race has the brains to survive for another 100 years. (Pohl and Asimov gave us until about 2050, so I guess I'm an optimist compared to them). The EARTH will survive, certainly, but I dunno about us. Any time I start to believe in the human race because of the philanthropic efforts of wonderful and amazing people, it's offset by some moron with An Idea!!! for a hotel in the middle of the desert. Or an oil drill in Alaska. Or maybe mass-marketing the Hummer. Or nuclear weapons. Or, oh, I don't know, maybe feeding cow parts to cows to save a few bucks on cow food.

Frakk. I really should start meditating on a regular basis again. I'm no use to anyone with this attitude!

I think I'll cheer myself up with fellow cynic Sam Kinison as Professor Turguson in Back to School. Maybe he'll help distract me from how insignificant I am in the great scheme of things for a few minutes.



So I was all sniggering to myself in the bathroom thinking of this brilliant post I was going to write comparing Sheryl Crow to Aimee Mann. You know how Tom Petty is sounding more and more like Bob Dylan every day? I was going to comment on how I believed Sheryl Crow was sounding more and more like Aimee Mann.

"(You've Got A Lot Of Money But You Can't Afford the) Freeway" was playing (for the 7th time today) through the piped in music that we can only hear (thankfully) in the lobby and bathrooms. The latter, I'm sure, to prevent us from lingering in there for too long. Increases work productivity when you don't hang out in the bathrooms because the music is redundant, soul-dampening, and uninspiring.

EXCEPT FOR TODAY! Today I was inspired. Oh, maybe not to do actual work, but I had a brilliant idea for a blog entry! See, I was CONVINCED that it was Sheryl Crow singing that "Freeway" song (you know where this is going), and I tell you she sounded EXACTLY LIKE Aimee Mann! HA! The female version of Petty/Dylan, but A) half a century younger and B) Crow had made the wise choice of emulating a singer WHOM YOU CAN ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND.

So I fire up Blogger, search out the song "Freeway" in the Webbersphere and....

Crap. It's Aimee Mann. It's Aimee Mann who sounds like Aimee Mann.

So now my coworker Wendy, who was in the bathroom at the same time I was in there chortling to myself, thinks I'm all insane for NO REASON. BLAST!!!

I think I was convinced it was Sheryl Crow because her stuff is more frequently played and, though I adore her because she looks alot like my friend LaLa, she's just not quite as awesome as Aimee Mann. LaLa, however, is more awesome than the two of them COMBINED when it comes to telling penguin-in-the-bathtub jokes.

But, wait....*horror dawns:* does,....does that mean Aimee Mann is sounding a bit like Sheryl Crow??? Judge for yourself:

Actually, it sounds much better here at my desk surrounded by ORANGE!!! and busywork than it did in the bathroom. Huh.

I'll definitely be listening to my Magnolia soundtrack on the way home from work tonight. Aimee Mann and Supertramp! What an awesome combination.


Blake (not really so) Lively

So I saw this magazine cover featuring Blake Lively who, for the record, I don't know. I had to look her up in IMDB and found that she apparently only stars in crap chick flicks. Or crap and chick flicks. Whatever. For me they go hand in hand - most chick flicks are crap to me. I know, chicks everywhere will want my blood, but I have no interest in seeing Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood, Sex and the Sisters, CrossSisters, Sisters Waiting to Exhale, If These Sisters Could Talk, Desperately Seeking Sisters, Sisters Who've Never Been Kissed, Sisters in Seattle, When Harry Met Your Sister, Thelma and her Sister, Fried Green Sisters, or anything starring Julia Roberts.* Maybe I'm missing a gene, but most chick flicks make me want to barf. Or at the VERY least flip the channel to Grindhouse - Planet Terror or The Transporter 15 before the first sisterly tear can be shed in solidarity over, well, anything. Puh-LEEEEZE.

ANYWAY, I've heard the name, but I really have no idea who Blake Lively is. I've never seen her on the big or little screen. That said, here's her pic from W magazine:

Couple of things. First, she doesn't look the LEAST bit lively, so I think she should change her surname to "Blah" or "Boredwithlife" or "Yawn" or "Whatever" or "Huh." Next, she should maybe wear something that doesn't strangle her boobs. Third, where is her neck???

Finally, this pose is....


But familiar.....

There's something very wrong with this picture. She looks all outta whack. Twisted all weird. Her shoulders....it looks almost like her arms have been reattached backwards....

I've seen this pose before.

Where??? WHERE have I seen this? Who is she emulating?

AH! I've got it!

Tour of New College.


March, 2000.

The chapel.

Statue of "Lazarus Rising" by Jacob Epstein:

Good on ya, Blake. You resemble a reanimated dead guy.

I stress again: you should seriously consider changing your surname.

(*for those who'd argue, yes, I do own My Best Friend's Wedding, but Rupert Everett is the ONLY reason to watch it.)



Add ImageSo, okay, like, I wasn't going to get an iPhone. I had NO INTEREST in the iPhone. I mean, sure, it was cool, but Verizon didn't carry it and I didn't need it. I'd be happy to keep my iPod and my phone and my camera all separate, thank you very much indeed.

Then my awesome Motorola KRZR was murdered by the Roman brass helmet replica my parents had given me for Christmas 20+ years ago. Killed instantly. And I was without a phone.

In my line of work, I need a phone. In fact, I mainly used my phone for work - giving my docs a contact for if their planes came in late and they needed directions to meet us at the restaurant where we were holding our "Thank you!" dinner, calling the hotel shuttle to change the pickup time if things were moving along more quickly or slowly than anticipated, calling the hotel on my way home from dinner to make sure that the docs who hadn't shown up were tucked away safely in their rooms, etc. Sure, I made personal calls and appointments, but I'm not much of a chatter. My conversations are usually under 2 minutes (though Verizon (and I'm sure all other providers) always rounded up). My phone is a convenience, a way to quickly convey and receive information so that things run smoothly.

When the iPhone was first offered, I quickly dismissed it. I didn't need it. Period. Add to that the fact that I LOVE Verizon's service and had sworn off Cingular (now ATT) and the thing might as well not even exist. Not an option.

Then my cell phone was killed and it would cost over $200 to replace. My plan offers a new phone every two years, and I wasn't eligible until July. Well, I couldn't wait until July - I had a dinner that Sunday!

My first thought was that I would simply use Shannon's phone. He has used it outside of the home a total of....once. I think. He MAY have brought it out with him on one other occasion, but he was unaware of the fact. I threw it in his pannier so he'd have it if he needed it because the weather was supposed to turn, but the weather held and he returned home without knowing it was an accursed cell phone weighing down his ride with that extra 5 ounces. If he had needed it, he wouldn't have known it was there, so my putting it there was pretty pointless. To say Shannon has an aversion to cell phones would be like saying I could take or leave Billy Corgan. He LOATHES cell phones, almost as much as I loathe Corgan.

"Why don't you get an iPhone? I'll take you for one on Saturday."

"I don't need an iPhone - I just need a phone. I can use yours."

"Well, I'm not going to push you, but if you give me your iPod Touch, I'll get you an iPhone."


"Verizon's coverage is 100% better than Cingular's was." That's why I'd switched to Verizon in the first place - Cingular kept dropping calls I made from the apartment and the connections were sucky."

"They've improved the technology - you might not have that problem any more."

....Is that so? I'd dropped my Consumer Reports subscription because I was using it, like, once every 3 months so I couldn't check to be certain, but I was pretty sure that Verizon was still #1 in our area.

But Shannon loves that iPod Touch. While I use it on my infrequent business trips to write shortish emails, check the Webbernet, and watch downloaded flicks on the plane; Shannon uses it almost every single day.

I thought about it for about a day, called Verizon to find out how to get out of my contract, wrote them a heartfelt "THANK YOU!!" letter (I received the nicest response! Thank you, Shemeca!) and encouraged them to try to work with Apple so they could also carry the iPhone. Then, on Saturday, I actually had an iPhone.

Sure, from the get-go it was neat, but it took a few days to take hold. Now, just over a week later, I CAN'T IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT IT!!! I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT!!

The iPod Touch is awesome, but the phone is AMAZING. I mean, I can plot a route to drive and watch the little dot - representing me driving in my car - move along the roads within 100 feet of where I'm at! When I sync my iPhone to my little Mac laptop, it automatically opens iPhoto and asks if I'd like to download the photos I'd taken on the phone. Nice touch! Then there's the the app store, which is full of the most incredible downloads. My favorite is the Don't Fret guitar fret board that teaches you to play guitar. NOW I ONLY NEED A GUITAR!!!

I'm still having the same problems with the service as I had with Cingular - bad connections and dropped calls; but I've learned to switch from 3G to the EDGE network, and that seems to do the trick. Still not as clear as my Motorola, but an improvement over 3G.

This is the first time I've been like, "Oh, crap! I forgot my phone!" when I leave it anywhere. And I mean anywhere. Like, I leave it on my desk to grab a coffee in the cafeteria and I'm like, "Dang!! My phone!" Now, I've downloaded an app that takes my current location and maps out surrounding coffee shops in the area and I've been assured that the one in my building is the closest to my desk, but still! I left my phone on my desk!

I can't believe how much I love the thing. Seriously, there were times I'd leave my Motorola at work for a week and the only time I'd miss it was if I had a dinner meeting and was worried about a doc who hadn't checked in yet. But then I'd only have to walk to reception at the hotel and ask after I drove the other docs back from dinner, so I did find a way around actually needing a phone in that situation if I had to.

My coworker won an iPhone for completing a survey about a month ago and he still hasn't received it. So I love to go in to his office every single day and show him what he's missing. Yesterday it was the epocrates Rx drug database; today it was the lightsaber application. I've had that one for a few days and woulda shown him yesterday, but he saw me coming and booked on out to lunch...

I can't wait to whip that epocrates application out at a meeting "Let me just look up that interaction - Ah! Yes! That would be a problem. Let's rewrite that distractor." Hey, some people have delusions ofplaying lead guitar in front of millions of screaming fans, I have delusions of coming up with a drug-drug interaction faster than a neurologist from Mayo.

That said, if I start using that Don't Fret app now, I could be playing lead guitar in my own band by the next Lollapalooza! And no, Billy Corgan can NOT open for me.

For Orange Girl

A picture of The World's Cutest Kittay and his ridiculous bunny feet!


"What's Something Someone Said To You Today?"

It never fails. I'm at an improv show and the emcee asks the audience, "What's something someone said to you today?" and I've got NOTHIN'. Squat all.

Too bad I don't have a show to go to tonight, because I don't know when I'll ever have someone say anything like this to me again:

"I told her that if the test came back positive, I'd have to exhume her brother and his monkey."


Sweet Dreams!

The Hand

I'm totally going to see this movie about a hand transplant gone HORRIBLY WRONG!!!

I mean, that's if it's ever really made.

Oh wait! It kinda was, only the hand wasn't transplanted,


Tender Lumplings Everywhere, Life's No Fun Without a Good Scare



Now, I'm No Expert...

Archeologists report unearthing the oldest Hebrew text ever found.

"The Bible says David, later to become the famed Jewish king, killed Goliath, a Philistine warrior, in a battle in the Valley of Elah, now the site of wineries and an Israeli satellite station."

Now, I'm no expert, but if any part of the text found on that pottery translates to the words "satellite station," I'm pretty sure you're dealing with a fake. Or maybe the text was written by Nostradamus?


Run, Fat Girl! Run!

So yesterday marked the 27th meeting with my awesome personal trainer, Karen. It was supposed to be my last (12 sessions followed by 3 sessions followed by 12 sessions) because though I've made great progress in my form and endurance, my asthma is pretty well under control, I've experienced a decrease in the number of migraines I get any given monty, and I'm very rarely sick; my two major goals of losing weight and getting into a running routine remain unattained. My weight has not budged a bit since last year, which I guess is good I suppose as it had been creeping up steadily since I got married. "You're nesting!" my friend LeeBob told me a couple of years ago. "That's so sweet!!"

I've examined where I can cut costs during this time of economic uncertainty and have determined that Karen is indespensible. Both her and Shannon keep me positive, refuse to let me get down on myself, and never show the least bit of disappointment when I fail to make progress. Without getting too melancholy I can tell you that I have had YEARS of letting myself get so down that I can't see the light from the hole I crawled in through from above - a very safe but very lonely and sad place I can tell you. I think I still have my foot near the hole in case I need to make a quick escape - old habits die hard - but I'm wholly out of it now. Besides, I probably wouldn't fit.

Though I do miss the endless supply of Portillo's cheese fries I kept stashed in there. mmmmmmmmmmmmmcheeeeeeeeeeeeese friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiesssss.....

It goes without saying that I loveloveLOVE to be home with Shannon, but there's no excuse for my not taking advantage of the multiple paths and running tracks that surround our home for an hour or so a day, maybe a bit more at the weekend. I have running gear for all seasons. My ORANGE!!! Asics running shoes - sold to me by Fleet Feet - are incredibly light and supportive and comfortable. I have a heart rate monitor and a Nike + chip. My 5+ hours "ORANGE!!!! Running Mix!!!" is loaded on three iPods - each of which is outfitted with a running clip of some sort. I spent several weeks compiling that running mix, carefully choosing songs from running playlists posted on the Webbersphere, listening to months upon months of backissues of IndieFeed and CB3 Radio Songs of the Day in order to find fresh new tunes to infuse into my tired old playlists; and, more recently, bellying up to the iTunes Genius Bar to see what songs I might like based on songs currently in my library.

I have. The most awesome. Playlist.

Which I have used exactly twice since I created it.

I'm not sure why I'm having such a hard time getting started. It's like I've hit The Wall before even getting out the door.

So I spoke with Karen about it and asked her how she keeps going, how she picks herself out of a slump or recovers after a break in her routine. (I imagine a break in Karen's routine would be, like, a month on a cruise ship. That might set her back, like, two days. The flu might set her back a week. On the other hand, hitting the "SNOOZE" button on my alarm clock ONCE resulting in a day skipped at the gym can set me back 3 and a half months.)

One excellent point she made is I tend to set my expectations too high. If I imagine myself running - and enjoying running - a marathon in 6 weeks, I'm probably not going to make much progress. Unlike Simon Pegg in Run, Fatboy! Run! I'd do best to set reasonable goals and think LONG TERM rather than my usual "Well! I ran three blocks today! I think I'll treat myself to a Starbucks, a Venti mocha, I think, and a 4-piece fried chicken meal at Popeye's to congratulate myself on a job well done!"

I. Cannot. Eat. Fried foods. Or ice cream. Or buttery stuff. Or cheese fries. I. Just. Can't. Even if I limit the portion size (which in itself is hard), there are some foods that simply make me gain weight, even if I only have them once in a while. I have gotten into the habit of slacking off at the weekend when I'm usually pretty good during the week. Eating whatever I want at the weekend can undo the entire week's progress and then I'm back at square one. [insert Elton John's song from The Lion King here]

Today is, how you say, not so busy at work so I've been catching up on my Runner's World magazine. Well, it's the October issue so I guess I'm not too far behind, though I think they've sent out issues through, like, April, 2009. I KNOW I have at least one or two more at home. On page 88 is a quote from a guy in Ohio by the name of Chris Beck:

"I've never regretted going for a run, but I have regretted skipping one."

I'm ALWAYS REGRETTING skipping a run. Or a trip to the gym. I have to stop regretting and (not to sound like a Nike ad, but all the same:) just do it. Even if I look like Simon Pegg did at the beginning of Run, Fatboy! Run! for a few weeks. Incidentally Karen loved that movie. I've recommended she see Brad Pitt's trainer character in Burn After Reading next.

This is SO ME, down to the "I'm RUNNING!" grin and the BOWIE!! shirt at the start of a run:

....1/2 block later:

Okay, you'd never catch me running in those shorts. I'm just a bit more modest. But one day I'd love to be able to wear one of those cute running skirts!


So after I checked and triple checked that the oven was off, I hadn't left the ferret cage open, and I hadn't left the back door unlocked, the fridge open, or the water running in the kitchen sink (ah, the "I wonder if I...."s of OCD), I grabbed my coffee and walked to my car. As I approached I noticed a brick and a jaggedy piece of concrete lying in the street. I picked one up and went to toss it on the grass, out of the street, when I noticed the dings in my driver's side door. One of the rocks had hit the window, the other the door directly beneath.

Luckily, the glass in the window hadn't shattered. As I tossed the second chunk of debris onto the grass I wondered who I'd pissed off. I'm not exactly neighborly, but had I actively angered someone? Maybe the chick who always parks in the middle of the street to wait for the girl she gives a ride to every morning that I've honked at at least five times now because god FORBID she pull into the space 10 FEET AHEAD than wait directly in front of the building for several minutes at a time, honking repeatedly for her charge and leaving no room for me or anyone else to pull around? Hmmm...Doubt it. Maybe someone was being funny because of my wiccan license plate? "STONE THE WITCH!!! Hahaha!!!" Maybe.....

I came to the conclusion that my license plate was the cause of the stoning of my vehicle and drove to work vaguely thinking black thoughts directed at self-righteous so-called "good Christians." How many people have been killed and murdered by so called "good Christians" in the name of "RIGHT!"? I thought. How many innocent cars had to be dinged? I fumed and shook my fist at the sky and then put it back on the wheel as soon as I realized that my other fist was holding my coffee and I was now driving 60 MPH on the Edens with no hands on the wheel.

Okay, so they were more grey-ish thoughts. I really wasn't terribly upset. I thank my beloved Pseudopod in keeping me distracted from any potential dark brooding.

I don't care about the dings in my car, though I may have them sealed so they don't end up rusting out my door. I was thankful, though, that my window wasn't shattered. Indeed, the motor in the window has never run smoother!

When I arrived at work, my boss was talking with a couple of coworkers about the damage an elderly woman had caused to her car last week, so I mentioned the incident, and my theory on the "cause" - okay the cause was a fucktard asshole - my theory on the motive, then, that it was my wiccan license plate. As to be expected, my coworkers were horrified (one is on the phone with her son right now relaying the particulars - now the rock weighed over 20 pounds and the brick was aimed at my head as I walked to my car), and were far more concerned than I was. They immediately dismissed the license plate theory. One asked what the stickers on my car read, and I ticked them off, ending with the two Obama stickers.

"Ah." They all said in unison.



No way.


Tell me. It was. The license plate.



FINALLY! I downloaded my pictures of the ferrets. There were about 46,017 pictures taken on the 10 terabyte card in my Canon Elph, and 46,011 of those were blurry unfocused messes of what might be teeth and fur.

Ferrets are not known for their quiet, photogenic demeanors. As soon as they see a camera they act as though a shotgun fulla buck shot is being pointed at them and do one of two things: 1) duck and weave like mad to get out of the line or fire; or 2) run right at the camera and try to wrest it from the wielder's grip, then haul it off backwards across the floor, then behind and underneath the nearest bureau or bookcase where they've hidden the rest of their (read: your) treasures. It would be a hilarious shot, them dragging the camera backwards across the floor at what they believe is breakneck speed but which is actually about 0.3 MPH - if, of course, you had a second camera being wielded by someone not trying to photograph the other ferret.

But I digress.

Ladies and gentlemen!

I proudly present:


(there's a groggy HaegTessa to his right)

Yes, it's official. I'm not going to ship the ferr-rats back to the breeder in an old Amazon box with no return address. I've grown terribly fond of Nosferretu, and Tessa has shown serious improvement the past few weeks. One day I may even handle her without wearing my puncture-proof safety gloves.

Here's Nos using Tessa as a stole to keep him all coooooozzzzzzyyyy:

Here's Nos using Tessa as a pillow. I'm really not sure what's going on with her body - it looks so freaky-weird here. She looks twice as long and all wavy-like....


You can't tell because I took this shot from above, but Nos' head is actually resting on the floor of their cage here, to insure Tessa has plenty of room (Nos is just about 3 times her size!)

Brangelina received, what, $9 million for the first shots of the twins? I think I should get at least twice that. It's FAR easier to photograph beautiful people and their adorable milk-doped progeny than it is two sleek and spazzy ferrets!


Sooooooo Jealoussssssssss

Here's a picture from the current Shimer in Oxford blog of Chronophage atop his Corpus Clock. It was taken by a student during a recent visit to Corpus Christi and the rest of beautiful(-but-not-quite-as-beautiful-as-Oxford!) Cambridge. The clock was unveiled by Stephen Hawking on 19 September.

I am so jealous of the students who are participating in the Shimer in Oxford program who got to go and see this! I wish it had been unveiled when I was there. Or that I was still there. Or that I would always be there... That's it! Shannon, pack up! Have you seen how strong the dollar is in England right now??!! $1.59??!?! OMG!!!

You can watch Dr. John Taylor explain his gorgeous timepiece and it's dedication to John Harrison's "grasshopper escapement" here:


In Light Of the Financial Crisis, A NOTE TO EVERYONE:


Settle down. Refocus. And in the words of the wise and wonderful Douglas Adams, DON'T PANIC.

This weekend:
  • Turn off the news.
  • List at least 10 things (yes, you can count people as things) you really really love.
  • List at least 10 things you want to do/accomplish in the future.
  • GET OUTSIDE. Go for a walk or a bike ride.
  • Meet a friend or a group of friends for a dessert or a beer at a new place you've been interested in trying.
  • Watch a favorite movie.
  • Touch up your resume. Look at how valuable you are to your company!
  • Make something with pumpkin. Or with sweet potato. (Forego the torch on the sweet potato creme brulee if you're really strung out.)
  • Make someone laugh. Really hard.
When you're feeling calm, look at your investments. LEAVE. YOUR STOCKS. ALONE. Selling them now WILL NOT HELP YOU. In fact, buy more stocks if you can. For serious. Invest more in your 401K if you can. Buy real estate if you can. It is a buyer's market, and yanking your stocks at 1/4 what you paid for them or cashing out your retirement plan at a 60% loss is not only a bad move in light of the market situation, IT'S A BAD MOVE FOR YOU. Donate to charities you believe in if you can - a lot of people are going to see donations as an expense they can't afford, and these charities will need you more than ever. On the flip side, look at what you spend and see where you're spending on what you don't need. I, for example, am FINALLY starting to cook more at home, and I'm finding that what I used to see as a huge waste of time (trained by my mom, it takes me far longer to cook than most people namely: Shannon), is now a relaxing and fun project with something tasty to show for all the work. Get started HERE.


Trick, Right? This is a Trick? Tell Me This Is A Trick.

I do love me a good caramel apple, so when I saw this beauty on the Williams-Sonoma Website I was tempted (ha ha! - get it?) to order one. That was after I found they didn't offer the recipe so I could make it myself.

OMG that looks great, right? YUM! But $22.50?? For ONE?? Come ON!

I think I'll just spend 10 bucks at Dominicks and buy the ingredients to make a dozen of my own, thanks. Jeez.

That is NOT Lucciano Pavaratti

Eric Cutler and Nathan Gunn in The Lyric Opera of Chicago's rendition of The Pearl Fishers. Oh, and Nicole Cabell.

If opera looked like this when I was a teenager, my mom would have had far more success in turning me on to it. Or opera would have had more success in turning me on. Or something. I can't concentrate - I'm too busy trying to count the six-packs up there.

Seriously, I was under the impression that really, truly excellent opera singers had to be in the plus sizes, or even the plus plus sizes. Remember the bodysuit debacle with Deborah Voight's Salome?

Whatever. Voight is amazing.

For my male audience member, it's not just the tenors who've gotten tastier the past few years. Playboy even has a list of the hottest female classical musicians, three of whom are opera-singin' sopranos (one of my committee members is particularly smitten with Anna Natrebko). and Here's a pic of Renee Fleming as Rusalka from Dvorak's opera of the same name:


An ORANGE!!! In Every Bag

When one of our bags ripped, Shannon asked Eevam to reinforce two Co-op bags we'd brought home from England that we try to remember to take with us whenever we shop so as to cut down on plastic baggage.

She did a beautiful job (THANK YOU!!) and mine came back with a little wee touch of tie-dyed ORANGE!!!

Let's just say I rarely forget it now. (o:

Countdown to Raleigh

I'll be arriving in Raleigh a week from tomorrow, and I'll be wearing Naomi-friendly shoes:

Shannon spotted these for me at a Payless. Check out the skulls!! So very timely.

Oh, GROSS! What's That On My Window? Oh, *BLARG!!!*

(Car wash on Western Ave. that I will probably not be patronizing.)

First Installment of "Halloween Decoration or Posted Delicacy?"

We were wandering by Sticky Rice on Western....

....when we noticed a sign in the window, taped underneath the menu:

Fried worms are there, you say? Ah! Darn it! I just went off fried foods until I get my weight down.

Anyone Missing a Pet Squirrel?

We saw this guy on our way to a friend's party a few weeks ago. No, that's not really a tag, it's a milk ring around his neck.

He appears to have reached his full size so the ring won't end up strangling him, but this was a pretty startling reminder that any tiny bit of discarded trash can have an impact.

That said, I've named him Chuggers.

I really hope that this does not become a trend, like, I hope mamma squirrels don't start putting milk rings around their baby girls' necks to keep them petite.

Man I think weird before 6AM. Mayhap I should have opted for that extra hours' sleep...


Not To Get TOO Sappy...

this is a fantastic song, and it may be the best love song I've heard in at least the past 5 years (sorry, Coldplay). I heard it on the CBC "Best of 2007" (yeah, I'm a little behind) podcast. It was voted "best Canadian song of 2007:

Great Lake Swimmers - "Changing Colours"

See what I did there??? I changed the colours! One for the band Website and one for the song on last.fm (which is, incidentally, one of my favorite Websites at the moment).

I love how each line in the chorus ends with a quietly breathed "too," stressing that whatever happens, whatever you go through, we're in this together.


Third Annual Scare the Bejeebus Outta OrangeMoJoJo Contest

Now, I just know I saw you around here somewhere...

AH! THERE you are!

I'm so glad you're here. You see, I require some assistance, and it's not going to be easy.

In October of every year since I've started this blog, I've asked for suggestions for scary books to read throughout the month.

Because Halloween is my favorite month. It just makes me happy. And nothing pleases me more than a good scary story.

Unfortunately, I find I'm running shorter and shorter of good scary ones. Maybe the good authors, Hawthorne, Poe, Stevenson, are busy doing other things...?

As always, the stories you suggest don't have to be traditional horror stories, in fact, it's likely I might have read them if they were.

They can be true crime stories,

or stories about psychopaths...

Stories about creepy figurines

Whatever you think will creep me out, for whatever reason.

I've provided a list below of books and stories that are disqualified because I've read them already. That means this this year you're going to have to get even more creative.

But there's no pressure. It's just a little contest.

And the winner gets treats!

LAST YEAR'S WINNER (PapaSchuetter):
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

2006 WINNER (Chuffed):
The House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

OrangeMoJoJo's List of Banned ('cuz I've read 'em) Books:

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
Anything by Nathanial Hawthorne
Anything by Stephen King
Anything by Robert McCammon
Anything by Edgar Allen Poe
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
"Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Dracula by Bram Stroker
In Cold Blood and "Miriam" by Truman Capote
The Family by Ed Sanders
Ghost Story by Peter Straub
The Keep by Paul Wilson
The Keeper by Sarah Langan
"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs
The Omen by David Seltzer
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
The Ruins by Scott Smith
Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dineson
Shadowland by Peter Straub
The Trial by Franz Kafka
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Weiland by Charles Brockden Brown
The Woman in White by Wilke Collins

I apologize. I didn't mean to barge in here like a nurse outta hell, I know you're busy.

but if you could get back to me before October 20, I would be eternally grateful!