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Thursday, October 28, 2004

my horoscope for today


You are the master of illusion, and today you're caught in the gray area between dreams and reality. Does it really matter if you can't tell what's real and what's not? At the very least this is good entertainment, and at the very most you'll learn something about yourself. You might have to clear away the cobwebs long enough to work or get some personal tasks accomplished, but feel free to spend the rest of your free time in a long, continuous, enlightening daydream.

I'm feeling like a walrus today

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.
See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly.
I'm crying.

Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come.
Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody tuesday.
Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob.

Mister city policeman sitting
Pretty little policemen in a row.
See how they fly like lucy in the sky, see how they run.
I'm crying, I'm crying.
I'm crying, I'm crying.

Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye.
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess,
Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob.

Sitting in an english garden waiting for the sun.
If the sun don't come, you get a tan
From standing in the english rain.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob.

Expert textpert choking smokers,
Don't you think the joker laughs at you?
See how they smile like pigs in a sty,
See how they snied. I'm crying.

Semolina pilchard, climbing up the eiffel tower.
Elementary penguin singing hari krishna.
Man, you should have seen them kicking edgar allan poe.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob.
Goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob g'goo.

Monday, October 25, 2004

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To Download, Click here.
I had an interesting weekend. A friend of mine is married to a Japanese man, and she is very interested in Japanese culture, so we went to a big warehouse kimono sale in downtown L.A. It was pretty cool. The fabrics they use for those kimono are absolutely gorgeous! The most elaborate ones cost thousands and thousands of dollars, and they are absolutely stunning. There was a white, vintage wedding kimono that just took my breath away. It was embroidered white on white in a pattern of cranes (good luck) and lotus flowers and clouds. It was so amazingly beautiful. They also had a very large selection of less fancy, every day type kimonos, which were equally lovely. They do amazing things with patterns in fabric, and while kimonos are all cut pretty much the same, each one is unique and different. I couldn't afford to buy one myself, but Shelly bought three, and I bought some vintage fabric scraps which I think I'm going to use for book covers. I took a book making class in college and learned to make these lovely Japanese bound books...

Anywho, then we went to the fashion district and this place called Santee Alley where they sell knock-off EVERYTHING! Gucci sunglasses for five dollars! Prada purses, two for ten! Hee hee. Just because the G is backwards on the Gucci and Prada is spelled Padra... =) But it was fun. I bought a five dollar purse and Shelly got some sweaters. Then we wandered into the fabric district and I found a shop called BRIDAL WORLD and I bought a veil for $22!! I figure, if I find one I like better somewhere else, I'll sell this one on ebay or something, but $22 was too good a deal to pass up!! They also had all kinds of tiaras. I am very much a tiara kind of gal, but I think it might be too fancy for my dress. OOOOO! The bridal shop called last week and my dress came in EARLY! So I get to go pick it up this week. Lucky for me, Shelly said she would keep it at her house so that Brandon won't even have the opportunity to think about peeking at it. I already had to hide the photos from him! =D

Then we went over to Little Tokoyo because Shelly wanted to buy some Obi (those are the sashes they wear as belts around the kimono). So we wandered around down there for a bit, but by then Shelly's feet were about to fall off -- because she rather stupidly decided to wear high heeled boots! -- so we called it a day. Nice!

Then Brandon took me out for dinner and a movie, and we saw "Shall We Dance" with J.Lo and Richard Gere -- his choice! I was shocked. =) It was kind of cute, and I hope it will inspire him not to complain too much when I insist on dancing lessons before our wedding. Hee hee.

Actually, when Emily was here, we were talking about whether they wanted to do the whole formal dance thing where the groom dances with all the bridesmaids, and Emily asked him what they would dance to, and without missing a beat he replied, "Pretty Fly for a White Guy." Hahahahahaha! So now she has her heart set on it and he's regretting that he ever opened his mouth, and at the same time wondering where he can get a copy of the music video for choreography inspiration. Ha! I can't wait.

Wow! How did this turn into a wedding update?? Oh well. I guess that's what happens when it's on my mind. We went to Santee Alley hoping I could find some wedding shoes, but they were all too hoochie for me. =) Just have to keep looking.

Friday, October 22, 2004

#4 is there one move that's more likely to win a game of rock-paper-scissors?

According to the World Rock-Paper-Scissors Society (no, really) the answer is no. The Society keeps careful track of how popular moves are in their annual International World RPS Tournament (again, really).

Sometimes, after a pop culture reference to RPS, a certain move will see a small spike in popularity, but generally -- according to the RPS Society -- world class players rely more on strategy than on a single move to defeat their opponents.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

#3: Where does nougat come from?

And I quote:

Like falafel and the number "0," nougat is a product of Middle Eastern genius.

The creamy goodness of chocolate bar fame was originally a mixture of honey, nuts and spices. It migrated southeast a bit to Greece where it lost the spices and became known as "nugo."

But it didn't become the candy-lover's dream that we know today until the French decided to put their own spin on it, bastardizing the name to "nougat," switching the ground walnuts for almonds, and adding the secret ingredient -- beaten egg whites -- to achieve that cloud of ooey gooey goodness that we know and love.

Of course, if the only nougat you're familiar with comes in a Snickers bar or a Russel Stover multi-pack, you've only tasted the chewier, less almond-y second cousin to true nougat. The best of the stuff only comes from Montelimar, France and is good enough to make even a French candy maker swoon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

#2: Who's that AOL guy who eerily knows when you've got mail?

Elwood Edwards was a voice over actor for radio and television in the late 1980's when the company his wife worked for, Q-Link, were discussing adding a voice to its online services. Mrs. Edwards suggested her husband for the job, and he recorded four phrases for the company including "Welcome," "File's done," "Goodbye," and the now infamous, "You've got mail!"

It wasn't much later that Q-Link changed its name to America Online and premeired AOL 1.0 with Edwards' phrases. Countless versions and permutations later, Elwood Edwards' voice is about the only thing still the same about the AOL online service.

If you are a fan of Mr. Edwards' work, he has his own website now where you can order custom phrases for your PC. Maybe he can say, "Pop culture icon."

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Burning questions series

"Sometimes there are questions that simply can't be answered in a library. Sometimes, there are questions too mind-boggling, to ethereal, too earth shattering for any worldy source. And sometimes, even if you ask nicely, Paul McCartney refuses to fork over the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's phone number so you can give him a call."

These are some of those questions...

BURNING QUESTION #1: What makes No. 2 pencils so darn special?

The number system of rating pencils refers to the hardness of the graphite and was invented by 18th century pencil maker Nicolas-Jacques Conte. No. 1 pencils have very soft graphite which means that they smudge easily. No. 3 pencils and above have much harder graphite, making them useful for drafting and other applications where you need a firm, strong point.

No. 2 pencils, however, have been determined to be the most useful graphite weight for general writing, being not too hard, not too soft, but just right.

(Adapted from Mental_Floss)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

In Which the Fair Maid Allison is Burdened with a Heinous Task

(in rhymed quatrains of iambic pentameter)

And lo, the fair maid Allison, did toil
At foot of paper mountains high and wide
And all through land of Hummers and of Saabs,
The service techs could hear her baleful cries.

"Why?" she sobbed, "As paper mountains grew,
did not the perpetrator of this loathsome mess
begin to undertake to remedy
his deeds so that my filing might be less??"

But ne'er did any speak the traitor's name
Nor deem to pity Allie in her plight.
And though she filed all throughout the day,
Her toils lasted well into the night.

"Have mercy!" our fair maiden did protest
"And someone free me from my paper chains!"
Yet still our heroine was made to toil
Although her strength had long begun to wane.

At length the managers and salesmen too
Did venture forth to check on Allison
But our fair maiden's trials now were through.
Her suffering from files at last was done.

They found her lying prone amidst the piles
Of VIN numbers and service tickets there.
Her face and hands were scarred by cuts of paper,
And there were bits of paper in her hair.

Poor Allison had fled this mortal coil
Instead of being shackled to the piles,
And though no one believed it could be true,
she proved one can be killed by endless files.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Lacy says: I just got a little box from my MSN messenger that said: “You have received a message from Parkay.”
And all I could think of was the little talking butter dishes.

Allison Says: When we were in second or third grade Tori and I would carry on entire conversations as the talking butter tubs. The only word we said was “Parkay”
We cracked each other up and pretty much annoyed everyone else around us.

Lacy Says:The really funny part about this story is that it actually was a message from Parkay – as in, the butter people.
How on god’s green earth did I get on a mailing list for Parkay?? I don’t even BUY IT!!

Allison Says: That’s creepy.
I never trusted those talking butter tubs…

Friday, October 08, 2004

NaNo WriMo

I've been hearing about this thing in the fan fic community called NaNo WriMo -- it's a challenge for people to write 50,000 words of a novel between midnight on November 1st and 11:59pm on November 30th. You don't win anything or get your story published or anything like that, it's just a reason to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and let go of the fear; don't reread, don't rewrite, just plough forward, ever forward.

Writing can be a terrifying process. If you're writing something that you ever intend to let anyone else read, writing can be as nerve wracking as public speaking, as soul-baring as acting, as emotional as singing. Writing is not for the faint of heart. And you cannot do it simply to please an audience -- at least, not well.

I was looking at the web site of one of my favorite fan fic authors, who is also currently my personal hero, and he said that he doesn't write to be read. He writes because there is nothing else for him to do; it isn't a choice, it's a calling. He says:

"If I were locked in solitary confinement for years on end with paper and pens enough to last me, I'd probably be all right. Unhappy, but sane. If I had no books and nothing with which to write, I imagine I'd end up sitting in my little cell telling stories to the walls. It's not that I require an audience so much as I have to put the thoughts somewhere -- I don't care if anyone ever reads them, so long as they're there."

That's the kind of freedom I wish I had with my writing. That's who I was at three years old, in the photograph my mother gave me. I am sitting on our front porch at the old house wearing an old Halloween costume over my regular clothes, with purple shoes on, my bear clutched in one hand, a short stick in the other, singing to myself and narrating little stories in which I was always the protagonist. I never needed an audience back then. I was my own audience; I contained whole worlds of people and places and things in my head, and my imagination was limitless and effortless and free.

Somewhere along the way, I lost that freedom that comes from not needing anyone's approval but your own. Now I find myself lost in worry that something I've written isn't good enough, isn't spectacular enough, isn't original enough or engaging enough or flashy enough. Enough for what? For whom? Even my own private journal that I write in by hand that no one but me is ever allowed to see, I sometimes censor because it isn't "good" enough. Why? Shouldn't my own thoughts be good enough for me?

I think that's why the NaNo WriMo concept intrigued me. Could I do it? Could I churn out 50,000 words and if they were crap, let them be crap? I'm not sure. I'm constantly rewriting. Revising. Even this blog will be reread and revised. My current "novel writing schedule" is to write and write and write, whenever I can, but to take one chapter per week, and spend the whole week -- in between the new writing and "real" life -- to edit and revise it. I send it to my beta reader and my brit-picker and they edit it and send it back and I look it over and make changes and send it to them again. I try to get it to a point that I'm happy with it by the end of the week so that I can publish it on the fan fic websites on Friday, in time for the onslaught of weekend readers. Because I'm vain and I like the praise. =)

That seems to work well for me, but I'm not sure I could move forward with the writing without going back to reread and revise. When I get stuck, I go back and read what I've written before. And when I read what I've written before, I inevitably change it.

Now I'm going to go post this without rereading. Ok, well, I'm not sure I can do that... Maybe I'll reread it and just not make any changes. I'm not sure I can do that, either... =)

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Character Group Therapy



[B]Where was your character born?[/B]

[B]What age will your character be during your story? [/B]

[b]How old does s/he appear?[/b]


[B]So is your character a pureblood, mixedblood, muggleborn, muggle, squib
or whatever? [/B]

[B]Who are your character's parents and siblings? What's his/her
relationship with them like? [/B]

[B]Is your character in a relationship? [/B]

[B]What is his/her strongest subject in school? Weakest?[/B]

[B]Does your character have any pets?[/B]

[B]What is your character wearing?[/B]

[B]Favorite food/color/swearword? (just for fun )[/B]

[B]Favorite kind of music?[/B]
[B]Favorite things to do?[/B]
[b]Optimistic or pessimistic?[/b]
[b]Shy or bold?[/b]
[b]Extroverted or introverted?[/b]
[b]Practical or dreamer?[/b]
[b]Leader or follower?[/b]
[b]Neat or sloppy?[/b]

[B]What is your character most likely to get their name in the newspaper for

[B]What qualities does she value in others? [/B]

[B]How would she get along with the character posted before her? [/B]

[B]What was their top career choice as a child?[/B]

[B]How many times a day on average do they laugh? [/B]

[B]Scenario: Someone who your character would never date approaches him/her
on the street and offers a number, or a motel room. How does your OC react?
Shrug him/her off? With humour? With Murder? [/B]

[b]How does your character act when s/he's angry? Sad? Very happy?[/b]

[b]What makes him/her climb the walls?[/b]

[B]What is the first impression anyone might get, upon meeting your OC? [/B]

[B]What's her/his dirty little secret?[/B]

[B]Who was their idol as a child? [/B]

[B]What are your character's flaws?[/B]

[B]Now name some things your character is good at.[/B]

[B]Give a quote from your character, something that expresses her/his

[B]What would/do the trio think of your character and vice versa?[/B]

[B]What has been you character's biggest disappointment in life so far?[/B]

[B]What does your character consider their biggest achievement in life?[/B]

[B]What does your character deem to be the most important part of their
daily routine?[/B]

[B]Does your character believe in the existence of one true soulmate for
every person?[/B]

[B]A museum is burning and there is only time time to save one thing: an old
woman or a Rembrant. Which does your character chose?[/B]

[B]What is you characters favourite season? Why? [/B]

[B]What do they feel guilty about doing?[/B]

[B]If they looked into the Mirror of Erised what would they see?[/B]

[B]What is his/her worst memory (dementor)? [/B]

[B]Where would they most like to go on holiday?[/B]

[B]Who is their ideal partner?[/B]

[B]Which famous person would they have a poster of on their wall?[/B]

[B]What is the number one thing they complain about?[/B]

[B]What would make them smile on a bad day?[/B]

[B]What one thing would they change about their appearance/personality?[/B]

[B]What would your character think about, trying to perform the patronus
charm? [/B]

[B]Would s/he be more likely to appear in a slash romance or a het romance
fic? [/B]

[B]How much magical skill does your character have -- more like Neville or
Dumbledore? [/B]

[B]What would your character die for? [/B]

[B]If your character would lie on the stand, would (s)he incriminate an
innocent stranger to save his/her guilty mother/father? [/B]

[B]What makes your character lose sleep at night?[/B]

[B]Your character can change one aspect of his or past. What does (s)he

[B]If your character died at this moment of development, would (s)he linger
as a ghost or move on? [/B]


[B]What is your character's Super Motive? What drives them more than
anything else?[/B]

[B]What is the point of your character in this story? After all, it's
useless to introduce an OC unless they have a purpose. What role are they
going to play? What are they going to do?[/B]

[B]What keeps your character from being a Mary/Gary S(t)ue? What do you
worry might be Sue-ish about your character?[/B]

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

dancing to the music in my head

I woke up this morning with the first verse and refrain of this song stuck in my head, and those are the only words I knew, so, out of desperation, I went and looked them up. And now I have even less of a clear idea of what this song is about. Any ideas?

I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin' 'bout half past dead
I just need some place where I can lay my head
"Hey, mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed?"
He just grinned and shook my hand, and "No" was all he said

Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you can put the load right on me

Picked up my bag, went lookin' for a place to hide
When I saw Carmen and the Devil walkin' side by side
I said, "Hey, Carmen, come on, let's go downtown"
She said, "I gotta go, but m'friend can stick around"

Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you can put the load right on me

Go down, Miss Moses, there's nothin' you can say
It's just old Luke, and Luke's waitin' on the Judgement Day
"Well Luke, my friend, what about young Anna Lee?"
He said, "Do me a favour, son, won't you stay an' keep Anna Lee company?"

Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you can put the load right on me

Crazy Chester followed me, and he caught me in the fog
He said, "I will fix your rack, if you'll take Jack, my dog"
I said, "Wait a minute, Chester, I'm a peaceful man"
He said, "That's OK, just feed him when you can"

Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you can put the load right on me

Catch a cannon ball now, to take me down the line
My bag is sinking low and I do believe it's time
To get back to Miss Fanny, you know she's the only one
Who sent me here with her regards for everyone

Take a load off Fanny
Take a load for free
Take a load off Fanny
And (and) (and) you can put the load right on me

Monday, October 04, 2004

Random Blog thoughts

So, I'm making an effort to blog more often. I think it's a good way to keep my writing skills honed and sharp for things other than Harry Potter. But who am I kidding? Harry Potter constitutes ALL of my writing life lately.

I had an odd dream this morning. I was in a department store looking at purses, and I found a cute purse that was on sale for $8. I opened it up and looked inside, and there was a really expensive Kate Spade wallet inside of the purse! It was obviously somebody's wallet, but there wasn't any money or credit cards or anything in it. So, I took the purse to the counter, and as I was paying for it, I was praying that the clerk wouldn't look inside so that I could get out with the wallet, and she didn't! So I was all excited because I somehow got a really expensive wallet with an $8 purse.

I feel a little disturbed about this, looking back on it. It doesn't really say a lot for my honesty, does it? But come on, a Kate Spade is a Kate Spade.

I actually just recently decided that I really want a Kate Spade purse, but they are expensive and not normally something I could ever convince myself to buy. So, I've started a Kate Spade reward fund: for every pound I lose towards my goal (which is about 10 pounds away) I'm putting $10 into my Kate Spade Reward Fund. When I reach my goal, I'll be more than half way to buying the purse, and I can go buy it guilt free and feelin' fine and have a groovy new purse to go with my groovy new self. How cool is that? They're always telling us not to reward ourselves with food, and I think this is a good step in the right direction.

On a completely different topic, I've decided that I want to write children's novels for a living. Have I already said this? I don't think so. Anyway, it just sort of occurred to me and now I'm trying it on for size. I mean, can anyone think of a cooler job to have? When I was telling my Dad about my decision this weekend, he said that now all I needed was to meet someone who could be my illustrator. I said, "Wow, that's exactly what I was thinking -- want the job?" He laughed it off, but I was totally serious. How cool would that be -- we'd be a father daughter team! Anyway, I tried to get him to agree to illustrate my Harry Potter story for practice (see? I knew I'd get back to Harry Potter here somewhere...) but he just kind of laughed. I'm totally serious though, and if you see my dad, I think you should tell him that it would be a good idea. =) (Just covering all my bases here...)

It's cool and dreary and grey here today, which would be OK with me if it would only rain. But I think it's rained all of twice since I've been here (more than a year now, folks) so I'm not holding my breath.