Tuesday, February 24, 2009

General Manager. Not So Great Akshually.

Josh likes to say i'm the general manager of the house. In wrestling this would mean that set up the matches and whatnot and had my own office and was an important part of the organization.

In real life this means that i'm the one who has to call the Turd Merchant to get the septic tank pumped. So...yeah...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Posts I Would Have Put on Twitter This Weekend if I Was on Twitter.

  1. Saturday morning i'm driving to Wal-mart and I see Grimace and the Hamburgler outside the McDonald's with ballons doing some sort of promotion. And I thought, do kids even know who Grimace and the Hamburgler are anymore? I haven't seen them in a commercial for McDonald's in ages.
  2. My mail carrier still doesn't know what the large yellow DO NOT BEND stickers on my mail mean as I found another package marked that way crammed into my mailbox this weekend. I know you phone it in since you're a goverment employee, but come on.
  3. I watched my first episode of Battlestar Gallactica this weekend with Josh. In the four minutes that Guyas Baltar was on screen in the first half of the show he proved himself to be a complete tool who I hate eventhough I probablly won't watch the show again. Unless he gets beaten up or killed. Then i'll tune in.
  4. Edward James Olmos really does have skin the texture of a decorative autumn squash. It fits his charecter on BSG as Odama, but I feel for the man in the future.
  5. I have a few questions about BSG. First of all, where do the Cylons get their make up and hair products from? They look great where as the Humans look like they haven't had soap in ten years. And where does all the booze come from? If they left Earth with the booze surely it's running low by now. Are they making toilet wine like in prison? And where the hell did the piano in the bar come from? This is just silly.
  6. Have you seen the commercial for the weight loss cookies? The one where everyone is saying that they took the cookie from the cookie jar? And they say that you can save all this money by eating these diet cookies instead of real food? Yeah, you're supposed to have ONE COOKIE for breakfast, ONE for lunch, then I guess a sensible dinner as Slimfast used to call it. I'll tell you why you're saving money. Because starving is cheap! One cookie! A magical weightloss cookie that can't taste that good? Fuck you. I'll be fat.
  7. Speaking of which, I found out at the doctors a few weeks ago that I have gained weight and am now above my personal limit by two pounds. And a few weeks ago I also found out I have high cholesterol. So i'm changing my diet a bit and hope to start exercising soon. Bleh.
  8. Got completely lost yesterday trying to find Jessica's baby shower. (Yes, Jessica C. Check out her blog and her Etsy page.) I actually had given up on finding the place and was heading home when I noticed a sign for the church by the road and showed up an hour late. I hate being late as much as I hate being lost. But i'm glad I made it. I would have hated missing the shower even more.
  9. While watching Spongebob this weekend (Yes I watch Spongebob. But only the older episodes. The new ones are unwatchable.) I saw a commercial for a Littlest Pet Shop playset. It came with an exclusive new pet, the porcupine. You dumbasses. No one wants a porcupine for a pet. Porcupines are wild animals and their quills break off once they've lodged in your skin. They are not cute or cuddly at all. The new pet should be a hedgehog. I know they are often confused, but come on. Google porcupine and tell me anyone would want one as a pet. As a former hedgie owner this really bugged me.

So that was my weekend if I had put it on Twitter. Which I didn't because i'm not on Twitter, because I don't get Twitter. Because i'm old. That is also why i'm not on Facebook or Myspace. I'm going to go polish my cane now and talk about how things used to cost less than they do now.

Friday, February 20, 2009

That'll Do Janlynn. That'll Do.

Janlynn has apologized to 123Stitch and will be turning the 123stitch.net address over to them. They claim that this was a mistake, but i'm not so sure. Either way i'm happy to be able to shop from Janlynn again. They have very nice patterns and when I buy directly from them I always get a free item. Now all I need is some damn money.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Advice Do-Over: Carey Tennis 2-18-09

Ever notice that Carey Tennis is the only advice columnist I seem to do over? Yeah, well, he fucked this one up bad.

Dear Cary,

I am a longtime reader and fan of your column. I'm not really sure that my problem falls into any of the usual categories. My husband is a hard-core environmentalist. I am also, but to a lesser degree. I've made many concessions to try to make him happy, such as living without a car and becoming a vegetarian. I am the main breadwinner and work 50+ hours a week, plus I run a small business on the side to help put him through graduate school. I don't have a lot of free time, but I do a lot of the housework. Here is where the problem comes in.
My husband becomes enraged if he catches me putting clothes in the dryer (instead of hanging them outside) or if I forget to turn down the water heater (he insists that it be turned off whenever we're not using immediately.) I've gone around and around with him, trying to point out that there are reasonable limits to what a person can do to save energy and decrease her carbon footprint.

Sometimes my time is simply more valuable than the energy I burn to save it. He doesn't see it this way and accuses me of being lazy and uncommitted. I'm feeling increasingly inadequate and resentful. Over time he is becoming more and more extreme. Apart from the environmental thing, my husband is a very sweet and gentle person. It's like he's morphing into Captain Planet. Or the Planetary Avenger. Or something. Can you offer any fresh insights into the situation?

NC Hippie

Dear NC Hippie,

Your husband is not an enviromentalist. He is a control freak and an abuser. His need to control you and his insulting you when you don't do things his way is a huge red flag. Like all abusive partners he is sweet and gentle after he insults you so you will continue to stick around hoping for the good parts to come. Like all abusive partners he will escalate his controlling behavior until you are completely dominated by him and your fear of his anger if you don't do things just right. Get out. Get out now before it gets any worse. If you need help call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Maybe Turning a Corner

I won't go into too many details but i'm trying a new medication for my Hypersomnia starting today and i'm getting a little excited. I'm really hoping that this will be what i've been waiting for and will finally be able to live my life again the way I used to. Excelsior!

A Post Valentine's Post

Sunday night I went to Walgreens to pick up a few prescriptions and see what cheap candy I could score.

While I was searching the mangled remains of the candy I heard something behind me. On the toy side of the aisle someone had started up a musical toy. The toy was a stuffed wolf on top of a lamb and played Hungry Like the Wolf, and the lamb would periodically baah.

So the wolf was on top of the lamb like it was going to kill and eat the poor thing and the lamb seemed to be crying for help. Not very romantic. Sorta creepy. In fact if I had received this as a gift for Valentine's day I think I would have to break up with the person who gave it to me. I mean really. What the fuck?

Monday, February 16, 2009

VD is for everybody!

You've seen that right? This. I'm so old. I saw this originally on Nick at Night, not YouTube. Anyway...

Not that kind of VD.

Our Valentine's Day was very nice as it always is. This morning I was catching up on my blogs and read a Consumerist post about how spending on diamonds is down, how guys were lined up at the Godiva store and how the best way to have a nice, cheaper, Valentines was to avoid manufactured sentiment and do something that was meaningful for you. Shocking, I know.

Josh and I have been doing this for years. This is the third year in a row we've gone to Cracker Barrel for dinner and it's now a tradition. We had to wait for a table, but that was ok. It wasn't terribly cold and we laughed our asses off at the hoarse girl on the intercom calling for tables and complained about the terrible country music.

Instead of traditional Valentine's gifts Josh gave me a cross stitch kit (above), a book on needle tatting, and a pair of inexpensive earrings from my Amazon wishlist. I gave him a book of H.P. Lovecraft, The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe, and Zombie Ninja Pro Am. No super expensive flowers. No cheap diamonds from Kmart. Just stuff we both really liked that showed how much we care for and get each other. I'm not seeing what's so hard or revolutionary about that.

Anyway it was lovely. And geeky. Nothing says love like H.P. Lovecraft.

Not Cool Janlynn. Not Cool.

So today i'm catching up with my cross stitch boards and I come across a post about one of my favorite online stores 123 Stitch.com.

123 Stitch.com has been a favorite of mine for awhile. They offer most things discounted and have a very large selection of products for cross stitch, needlepoint, crewel and even scrapbooking and rubber stamp supplies.

However, Janlynn, a large craft designer and company has registered the URL www.123Stitch.NET . That's right. Click on it. See. It takes you to Janlynn's website.

Now Janlynn has some lovely designs and I have bought many of their charts and kits before, but this is fucked up. I can see why an upstart business would try and snake customers from an establised site, but a company as big as Janlynn should know better. This is a questionable business practice of Wal-Mart proportions.

I doubt there is much to be done, but I will be sending Janlynn a nastygram. I'll probably avoid their products for a while in the hopes that they will resolve this issue. And I will be sure to pimp www.123stitch.com as much as I can when it's appropriate to. See. I did it right there. Follow the link, browse around, throw them some business. It'll be good for the economy.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm Easy, No, I'm Simple, No, I'm Low Maintenance. Yeah, That's the Ticket!

So tomorrow is Valentine's Day. Now i'm not one of those assholes who spends the first half of February kvetching about how Valentine's is a made up Hallmark holiday, but i'm not a fancy restaraunt, long-stemmed roses required type either.

I like Valentine's Day. I like the idea of having a day set aside to show those you care about how much you do care about them. Now I do think that somethings take this way too far. I've seen more Pajama Gram commercials in the last two weeks than I can count. While perusing the classifieds last week looking for a hedgie in need of a good home I came across an ad for AKC registered Yorkies for $800. "Perfect for Valentine's Day" it said. Yikes. That's more than Josh spent on me for Christmas!

I told Josh about the ad and asked him if he wasn't glad to be married to me who set a $50 limit and tells him every year that he doesn't have to buy me roses, if he does buy me roses they dont have to be red, long-stemmed or a dozen of them. (I never got the long-stemmed thing. Who has a three foot high vase? I end up cutting most of the stems off.) He of course said he was.

I think a lot of the Valentine's backlash comes from an all or nothing attitude. As if you can't have a nice low-key Valentine's Day. It's crappy all around in that case.

Tomorrow i'll get Josh a card and a cute bag to put his presents in, he'll get me grocery store flowers (totally fine by me) and we'll go out to eat at Cracker Barrel since it's the only place to eat in town that doesn't have an hour wait that night. A lovely, low-maintenance Valentine's day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How Do You Find a Word That Means Maria?

Thought the Sound of Music Songs were out of my head, huh? Nope.

So whenever I mention my sleep disorder I always get the same question: What does it mean to have hypersomnia/narcolepsy? (Depending on which term I decided to use. Still not sure about that.) My answer always seems to fail. It always gets a litany of "I must have that, i'm so tired." Well, maybe, but probablly not. There's a difference between being tired for real reasons and just being tired because your brain is fucked up.

Having narcolepsy (i'll go with this since it's easier to type) means that I look forward to going home and going to bed.

It means when i'm walking across campus to get something signed I look at the fluffy green grass on the mall and think about how nice it would be to just snuggle up for a nap.

It means I have that same thought standing at my mailbox looking across my front yard.

It means that I feel like my blood is made of lead much of the time.

It means that episode of Seinfeld where George built the sleeping compartment under his desk is my dream.

It means that I just don't feel like doing much of anything.

It means that my options for meds are really limited and chock full of side effects.

It suuuuucks.

It's like being a cat in a human body with human responsibilities. You can't take the five naps a day like you need. You can't curl up on that sunny grass, at least not in your front yard unless you want the neighbors to talk. You have to work unless you can get disability and that's no easy or desirable task. You feel like a zombie shuffling around, except zombies don't really have much to do except seek out brains to eat. They don't have lives to enjoy or things to miss out on because they feel bad. So that world is what having narcolepsy is.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Cross Stitch Hacks: Fractional Stitches on Aida

So I belong to a Counted Cross Stitch group on Yahoo. Mostly I enjoy reading the posts when I have time. However one thing about it makes me go bonkers. Someone will ask the age old question "How do I do fractional stiches on Aida?"

And someone always pipes up with "You could always use evenweave."

Well no shit. Look, we all know about evenweave. But most of us don't have the time and money to switch out the aida that comes in kits to evenweave or a use for all that offensive aida stacking up. So here is how you make a fractional stitch on aida.

You use a sharp pin to punch a hole in the middle.

There. You're welcome. I just saved you six long, boobless hours reading 75 posts about how aida is bad and evenweave is made of puppies and rainbows.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Contracts for Dummies! (That means you Sarah.)

So I can across this quote from Sarah Palin and I just have comment.

"This is what I've been telling Bristol, before she gets married, is, Bristol, there are definitely gonna be tough parts in marriage. You have to look at those tough times and remember that you have essentially a business contract with this person. You've signed an agreement: You're going to be together."

Now I hate to say it, but I do agree with the first part of that sentiment. The second, not so much.

I do believe that marriage is a contract. That's not romantic, but it is basically true. You each agree to terms that are binding.

What Palin doesn't get (aside from the fact that Bristol can't enter into ANY contract until she's 18) is that both parties have to meet the terms of a contract for it to be binding.

Yes, when you get married you stand before God and your parent's whole Christmas card list and agree to love, honor, and forsake all others. But five years down the road when the Mister is fucking the new girl in accounting, that's a breach of contract. Contracts that are breached are null and void.

So remember that Bristol when or if "tough parts" degenerate into Levi beating you and fucking your best freind. Or stealing money from you or verbally abusing you or even if the basis of your marriage, love, (i'm being nice here and not suggesting that the out of wedlock baby would have anything to do with the nuptuials) is long gone.

It has always confused me that so much focus is placed on the "till death do us part" area of the marriage vows, but so little on the parts that make that promise worth keeping. It also makes me very sad that that focus has kept so very many people in marriages that are the complete opposite of what a loving God (the entity that consecrates most marriages) or even a just society (for the non beleivers out there) would want for their people.

Of course it also confuses me that the fucking Governor of Alaska doesn't understand that a contract must be fulfilled on both ends to be valid and that contracts can be breached and ended. And it makes me very sad that she came so very close to the White House.

What really makes me sad though is that i've devoted a post to something this dumb ass bitch said. So yeah. I'm gonna go get drunk now and pretend this didn't happen.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Ugh. Yard work.

No, not that kind. Thankfully (in this case) it's still cold as ass around here so with the exception of my daffodils (who sadly got snowed on last night) everything around our house is still dead or dormant.

This yard work is occurring right outside my office window. Apparently the University has some thing about the place looking nice all the time, even in the winter. I'm not sure what has been growing around here, but whatever it is is being weed wacked and the smell of cut grass and exhaust is now wafting up into my building. It's sickening. At least i'm only here another hour.

Blogger Dropped Me. They Said Posts Like "Uh Oh! Polio!" Don't Connect With Today's Youth.

And that's because thankfully polio today is a footnote of history here in the US.

Monday night I met up with an old freind, PBS for a few drinks, some catching up and American Experience: The Polio Crusade. (What? No it isn't cheating! Look, PBS.org is still my main squeeze. But I can have freinds, right? And it was just drinks. Nothing serious. Besides, I hang out with other educational channels all the time and PBS.org is totally cool with that.)

I considered just calling this post Uh oh! Polio! But as funny as it is when it's on an Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode, it just isn't after watching this program.

People, I didn't stitch during this. Just think about that. Turn it over in your head. How riveting this must have been to warrant my complete attention at a time when i'm working hard to finish a UFO.

I knew a few things about Polio and the efforts to create a vaccine for it, but I did learn a lot from this program. For one thing I didn't know that The March of Dimes was started for the purpose of treating and preventing Polio. I didn't know that the iron lung was a permanent home for only some victims of the disease. I didn't know that many people spent months or years in one until they could relearn to breathe using their neck muscles. I also didn't know that some people were able to regain the use of their paralyzed limbs. Sometimes, not always.

I was of course gobsmacked by the irony that Sabin was fucking convinced that Salk's dead virus vaccine would kill people when his own live virus vaccine would of course end up with a higher chance of someone actually getting the disease. And I was confused why this simple concept was lost on a brilliant scientist such as himself.

But what sticks with me most are the images. The images man. It's been said many times that one reason parents today are so easily freaked out by minor concerns about reactions to vaccines, and to the completely untrue, disproven, paranoid, autism not-a-link-at-all-you-dumb fucks is because they've never seen a kid suffer with these easily preventable diseases and I think there really is something to that. After seeing all these videos of pitiful children in leg braces and iron lungs, disabled for life at such a young age, I wanted to get the cats vaccinated! You know, just in case.

I think if people today really knew how bad Mumps could be, that Whooping Cough can take months to fully recover from, had seen Timmy across the street in leg braces or an iron lung, or even seen a child buried from an easily preventable disease they would appreciate the modern wonder of vaccines and thank God that we have them. They would be pushing their kids to the front of the line for the shots just like they were when the Polio vaccine was finally available. I certainly was that night and I don't even have children.

So in summation: Polio is bad. This episode of American Experience is good. It's playing on my totally wonderful educational boyfreind PBS.org now and is well worth the hour of your time. Even if you have to tell a little white lie to your educational boyfriend about where you were and with who for that period of time. What he doesn't know won't hurt him. Right? RIGHT?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Revolutionary Road: What a Miserable Book That Was.

Ok, so i've mentioned being a consumer whore recently, but I haven't confessed to a slightly less shameful charecter trait. I'm also a book whore.

I was that weird girl in school who really liked to read. In middle school I woud read while in line to the cafeteria for lunch like Belle in Beauty and The Beast. Then I read through lunch. (Easy to do when you don't have many freinds.) In high school I finished reading A Separate Peace in one day because I was bored on the bus and hey! Look! A book! Once I get into a book I can finish it in no time. I'm also susceptable to suggestion and if I hear a book is good I end up dying to read it. This usually ends with me ordering the book from Amazon since I haven't been to the library since last summer when someone got stabbed in front of the building at the exact time that I would have been there. (For realz! Someone got stabbed in front of the library at 3:15 in the afternoon. Right between leaving work and going home. So i'm a little gun shy. Or knife shy.)


So around the time that Revolutionary Road came out in theatres there were articles about the book and how people just loved it and how it was so good so like a good little book whore I ordered it from Amazon. (I would like to note that I was careful not to buy the movie tie in version with Leo and Kate on the cover and then to peel off the Now A Major Motion Picture sticker that was on it. That shit annoys me.)

I guess the book was good enough. I was well written and all, but I really didn't like it.

First of all, call me an asshole, but I'm easily annoyed at movies, books, TV shows etc. about the drudgery and ennui and desparation of the suburbs. Like it's the MOST AWFUL THING EVER to live inbetween the city and the country. Maybe i'm a weirdo, but I like my life in the suburbs. I like having a yard and an attic and only being five minutes away from several restaraunts and stores. I like the quiet of my neighborhood, and knowing that if my house catches on fire in the middle of the day someone walking their dog or cutting their grass will be there to call the fire department. And that the fire department will know where i'm at since i'm not in the middle of nowhere. Not to hate on the city or the country. I'm sure they have their charms for those who choose to live there. But I chose to live in the suburbs so can we all just accept that and stop looking at us suburbunites like we're empty losers filled with longing and dark secrets already? And honestly, if Frank and April were so damn miserable in the 'burbs why not move back to the city? Jeez.

Of course, even if they had either stayed in the city to start with or moved back or even (spoiler alert) made it to Paris I don't think things would have turned out differently for them.

And that brings me to the second reason I really didn't like this book. There wasn't a remotely likeable charecter in it. (I'm not counting the kids, they were such minor charecters they don't really count.)

Frank and April are crappy people. Their freinds are crappy people. Their real estate agent and her family are crappy people. They are all so empty, but they don't really do anything to fill this emptiness. They don't really talk to their loved ones. They don't listen to them. They don't try to make their lives meaningful where they are now. They just go about their lives waiting and expecting the outside world to fill them up. They're selfish assholes.

Why are they selfish assholes? We don't really know. And that's probablly where the book disappointed me the most. I wanted to know why. Why did Frank and April get married in the first place? Why did they hate each other so much? Did that develop slowly? Was it a sudden thing that happened? What the hell? Can I get some insight into this please?

Maybe i'm missing something here, but I wasn't really impressed. I'll be listing my copy on Paper Back Swap and hoping to get a better book in return. And maybe next time instead of dropping $10 on a book I may not like i'll brave the library.

Have I Mentioned I'm A Consumer Whore Lately?

I haven't? Well here you go. I totally am. I bought a Snuggie.

Yes I know that the Snuggie is a ripoff of the Slanket. (Who came up with the name Slanket anyway? That sounds like some weird sexual act.)

Anyway I went to Walgreens Sunday night and they had Snuggies for $15. I had decided I wanted one after Christmas when I was trying to read with a blanket over me and found that I couldn't turn the pages of my book without disturbing the delicate way I had the blanket to cover my arms and my feet.

Of course I only needed one Snuggie, not two, and wasn't keen on the 6-8 week shipping time so I decided to wait until it showed up in stores like these things always do.

I will say that the fabric of the Snuggie is cheap. But considering that to make one of better fabric would involve going to the fabric store, picking out fabric, paying more than $15 for it (I would guess this thing uses 4-5 yards of fabric), prewashing, cutting the peices out and sewing them together, i'll just settle for the cheap fabric. Plus I got the book light.

So yes I bought a Snuggie. Last night I was able to cross stitch and stay warm at the same time. And now i'm ready at a moment's notice for some low-rent wizard cosplay.