"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."