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!

Two "WHAT THE??!?!??" Moments, One Short Evening

We watched Run Fatboy Run and an episode of The Office (season 4) last night, and each evoked a total ".....HEY!!!" moment outta OrangeMoJoJo

I had high hopes for Run Fatboy Run, and was not disappointed. Simon Pegg stars in it, and as I loved him in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz - both of which are hilarious - I had high hopes for Fatboy. Shannon and I saw Shaun of the Dead together before we officially started dating (though I was totally mad about him. Good choice, on my part, inviting him to a comedy film where my "giggling manic idiocy" was overlooked as simply "enjoying the film....Alot.") For some reason I'd assumed Shaun was directed by Simon Pegg, so I naturally thought Fatboy was as well. Turned out I was wrong on both counts! Sure, he WROTE or co-wrote them both, as well as Hot Fuzz;

but David Schwimmer directed Run Fatboy Run.

DAVID SCHWIMMER?!??! Whiny, annoying "Ross" from Friends?? I tell you what, next time he directs at his LookingGlass Theatre I am NOT missing it.

Schwimmer with Run Fatboy Run costar Thandie Newton

My second "No WAY!!!" experience occurred during the episode "Local Ad" on The Office. Now, I've been pleased to see Darryl's character more and more frequently because he cracks me up. But yesterday we were watching as he and some of the other employees were coming up with an ad jingle for Dunder Mifflin. There were three or four employees standing around Darryl, who was sitting behind little electronic keyboard.

And it HIT me! I KNOW THAT GUY!!! That's Craig from my Second City class! He was one of the most unbelievably talented people I've ever met, and a fantastic friend. Never tried for a laugh, was always supportive, always sincere, always calm. He was usually late, too, which totally pissed us off not because he was throwing off our class time but because he was so talented he didn't need the classes. He'd breeze in, be brilliant, and breeze on out again.

Craig Robinson

Craig encouraged me to try doing some open mikes at The Cue Club back in the 90's. I never did - I was terrified - and he never pushed me on stage. Though I never made it past the third row of tables where I had a clear view of the stage, he went himself, calmly and assuredly. They'd introduce him as he strode to the stage and took his place....

...behind an electronic keyboard.

It was such a shock, seeing that familiar tilt of the head as Darryl started playing the keyboard and singing the Dunder Mifflin jingle to realize OH. MY. GOD. That's Craig!!! There was never any doubt that he'd have a career in comedy, and he worked so extremely hard to get to where he is. I don't mean the "breezing through classes at the old SC" part, I mean the "emceeing at Zanies, doing stand-up wherever he could get a gig, and taking any job to get more acting experience" part. DANG!!! SO awesome!!!