Thursday, April 28, 2005
So, to that end: this week on Lux Aeterna I recommended some new fics, one of which was written specifically for my by my friend Kali called "An Undying Passion for Cupcakes" and I went a little meta talking about the craft of characterization.
There were still some repeats and double posts, this week, but starting next week, all that is going to change, BABY!
* * *
Brandon and I are headed for Santa Fe, leaving tonight and returning early Monday morning. It's the great photographer and baker hunt. In fact, I have already checked in for both of our flights and printed our boarding passes. Man, the internet is awesome. On that note, we will be taking our laptop with us (are you kidding? I'm addicted!) so I'll be checking my email over the weekend and we'll both have our cell phones if you need to get in touch with us.
AND, best of all, I get to see "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" tomorrow night in Albuquerque! I even have it written in my appointment book! I'm so EXCITED!!! It opens nationwide today, and if you want to be able to hold a conversation with me at any time in the next two weeks or so, I suggest you go see it ASAP so you'll have some idea what the hell I'm blathering on about. SQUEEEE! OMGARTHURANDFORD!!! and ZAPHODISWEARINGNAILPOLISH!!! 42!!! (Seriously. I'll be talking in all caps for a while after I see it, I'm sure.)
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
The best strategy for party-going is go with someone who is the life of the party. Then, when you're there, you just get towed along in her wake and end up having a good time by default.
The Ritz was So Cool. They set up our reception in a ballroom with a balcony and ocean views. The buffet was amazing. It included a mixed salad and a mozzarella and tomato salad, sushi, top sirloin with either au jus or berjonaise (sp?) sauce, mushroom or saffron lobster risotto, and four or five different desserts. The open bar was located outside on the balcony, next to the guitarist, who was serenading us. The food was exceptional. I didn't have anything to drink -- I saved my calories for the cheesecake -- but the bartenders were friendly and cute.
After dinner, Rebecca flirted with one of the bartenders until he showed us how to sneak through the party next door, down the walk way, and out to the beach. So. Cool. There were dozens of surfers out and pretty good waves. We walked down to the point to look out, and when we walked back, we were accosted by three men from our company in a golf cart. They cajoled us to hop on for a ride, so we rode with them back up to the main entrance of the hotel, then wandered around the hotel looking at everything. (I took some pictures which finished up the roll from my bridal shower, so I'll post some as soon as I get them developed.)
By the time we wandered back to the reception, they were handing out cigars. Yup. Even some of the women were puffing like smokestacks. Deciding that that was not our cup of tea, we snuck down to the path again -- this time with the three guys and Liz in tow -- and went up to the gazebo to watch the sunset from the highest point on the bluffs. Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.
Rebecca and I have decided to become beach buddies this summer. Since Brandon won't put more than a toe into the ocean, Rebecca is going to teach me to boogie board and snorkel. We also decided that we want to go whale watching -- and the guys told us that Long Beach was the best place for that -- and we want to go snorkeling off Catalina island.
On the way home I got a little turned around, but ended up driving up highway one through Laguna Beach, which is one of my favorite of the beach towns around here, and then taking the 133 up through the hills back to the main freeway. It was an awesome drive to make at twilight.
So three cheers for Rebecca, my saving grace when it comes to positive party going experiences. And three cheers for the Ritz, the beach, half-naked surfers, sunsets, drunk guys in golf carts (when they picked us up, one of them said -- "We're doing pretty good! We just picked up two hot girls!"), open bars, excellent cheesecake, and Corporate, who picked up the tab. =)
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I'm just saying...
The vast majority of the clothes in my closet are either:
a) too casual (75%)
b) too small (10%)
c) too big (10%)
leaving a measly 5% that I can actually wear. And I get bored rather quickly of wearing the same old thin day in and day out. I don't even really like to repeat outfits in consecutive weeks. It's a problem.
So, having reached the conclusion that I am not, after all, as mad as a hatter (at least, not on the subject of having nothing to wear), I decided to remedy this. At work, I promptly pulled up OldNavy.com and went to their "wear to work" section. I printed out the page, stuffed it in my purse, and went shopping on my lunch break to good results.
Everything I bought goes with everything else I bought so that I can mix and match to produce about 9 distinct outfits. Hoorah! Am wearing one new outfit today (but, have already discovered that the gorgeous silk blend teal green cardigan I bought which brings out the blue in my eyes and the red in my hair, also leaves little bits of beautiful teal green lint all over svelte little black dress I bought).
My third party of the month is tonight. For a wallflower, I get around! Although, I didn't actually go to the second party... First was Rebecca's birthday which was, in the end a horrible, terrible fiasco (ask me about it sometime, if you like. I'm not going to blog it.); the second was a CSF alumni get-together that a girl I knew from school was putting on. Friend Aaron called on Sunday to ask if I was going. I was tempted, if only to catch up with him and the few other people who I might actually wanted to see, but after aforementioned fiasco, I decided against it. Plus, it was on a Sunday night at a bar in Hollywood, which means it would take me an hour to get there, an hour to get back, and I couldn't even have a drink when I was there if I wanted to be awake enough to get home in one piece. Meh. Hardly worth the effort.
So. Tonight is party number three, a shindig hosted by Corporate to welcome us into the family. (I almost just typed the name of my company there -- whoops!) It's at the Ritz, and will probably include dinner, which is really the only reason I'm going. That, and the fact that one of the sweet girls in HR went out of her way to make sure that I and my fellow temp co-worker were included on the guest list. Rebecca is not going (probably) because she is catching a cold and trying to pack to go to New York tomorrow night. Spouses and significant others are not invited.
Yeah. It may be a REALLY short party if I get stuck sitting with people I barely know... So NOT good at the small talk...
I am, however, lookin' GOOD in my smart black dress and gorgeous teal green cardigan (with matching teal green lint).
Monday, April 25, 2005
H2G2 is a web based, user compiled and edited storehouse of knowledge about everything and anything in our tiny corner of the known universe.
According to the books, the guide was a compendium of all knowledge compiled by researchers (like Ford Prefect) who wandered the galaxy gathering information, writing reports, and sending it into the editors to be immediately redistributed to all the "guides" in existance. The BBC site is trying to do something very similar by making H2G2 available to mobile customers on their phones, palm pilots, and other handheld devices. It is, in essence, a real life Guide.
Somewhere, Douglas Adams is smiling. Quite possibly the dolphins are too. =D
You can read more about it in this article on Yahoo! news.
This weekend was pretty wild. Went to Rebecca's birthday party on Friday night and discovered that, no matter how much I would LIKE to be good at parties, I am not. Not even after a cocktail (it was called Pink Lemonade and was citrus vodka, chambord, and lemonade). I also discovered that Rebecca has a lot of different kinds of friends. There was one guy who looked like a cross between Fabio and some sort of new age cult leader. He was wearing a shiny white shirt with poofy sleeves unbuttoned quite far and a LARGE crystal on a leather thong around his neck. Uh-huh. Then there was the guy with waist-length black hair, black jeans and tee shirt, lots of chains, and tatoos all over his arms and piercings in various places on his face. Then there was Liz who works with me and Rebecca and her husband. Then there was me and Brandon. Very diverse group.
Saturday we went to the LA Times Festival of Books at UCLA. It was fun, but also crowded and mass insanity. I saw Eoin Colfer (sp?) -- the guy who writes those Artemis Fowl books signing autographs, but I didn't get one because I'd already spent almost all of my money on parking and lunch for two. I was kind of hoping to be able to scope out different publishers, see what kinds of books they publish, grab a business card or two, that kind of thing, but it really wasn't possible. There were just TOO many people. Every booth was crowded, most so that you couldn't even get close to them, let alone see what kind of books they were selling.
I did, however, pick up some information on two different Southern California writer's clubs. I got a flyer from a third but was instantly turned off when I noticed several grammatical errors. I also got a little card from some random guy wandering around hawking his book called "Red, White, and Blue A Book of Poetry." It was a business card size, and it had two grammatical mistakes on it that I could see. Yup. Makes me really want to buy that book or join that club.
We also met with our first wedding photographer on Saturday. He has a studio here in Newport Beach and one in Albuquerque. We were a tad underwhelmed by what he showed us. He was a nice enough guy, and his prices were comparatively reasonable, but even after we told him we were interested in "documentary" style candid photographs, he proceeded to show us two albums full of trite, posed wedding pictures and a HORRIBLE DVD which made me shudder. Honestly, any freshman MOV major could have done infinately better work. Bleah! Here's hoping that the photographers we meet this weekend aren't the same way!
I feel like I had other things I wanted to write, but I can't remember what they were now. Oh well. If I remember them later, I'll just add them to my list.
Friday, April 22, 2005
I'm not sure what I think about that. Yes, obviously, when taken on the surface, stories like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and even (especially?) the original version of The Little Mermaid do not provide exactly stellar role models for young girls, but are they really to blame for women who find themselves trapped in violent relationships? She claims that "Girls who have listened to such stories as children tend to become more submissive in their future relationships."
Now, let's think about this for a minute. I was raised on Disney princesses as much as the next little girl. I had a bookshelf full of fairy tales -- both the original versions and the Disney-fied versions, I played with Barbie dolls, I dressed up as a princess for Halloween. And yet, I wouldn't put up with a man who hit me for a single second. What would this woman have to say about that? Besides which, where do you find a significant portion of the population who didn't grow up hearing those sorts of fairy tales in one incarnation or another. I mean, seriously: if you asked random people on any given street corner if they'd ever heard the story of Cinderella, how many of them would tell you no? How on earth could she quantify a higher instance of women brought up with fairy tales in abusive relationships?
Also, the man in that picture is tiny. He's a midget. Either that, or Cinderella is enormous.
Where are my peeps, yo?
I am SO GLAD it's Friday. Blah to work. Blah to politics and secrecy and intrigue. Blah to uncertainty and a big fat blah to having a MILLION things to do -- just none of them work related.
We've got a busy weekend planned (when do we not?). Saturday we're going up to UCLA for the LA Times Festival of Books. Whee! No idea what that's really all about, except everybody at my writer's group said it's awesome and crowded and worth the drive ('cos it's also free except for parking). According to the commercials on NPR, it's the largest book festival in the country.
There's a panel discussion about Young Adult fiction at 3pm, but I don't think we'll probably be able to go to that because we have an appointment at 4pm in Newport Beach with a wedding photographer. He's got a studio here and one in Albuquerque, and so we're meeting him here. Go fig!
Sunday is the Earth Day mass at church, and we go outside and have a jazz band and it's OK, except it's always hot and they make the choir sit in the sun. The drummer about passed out last year 'cos he was wearing black. David told us to wear casual clothes and hats. Should be interesting if nothing else. And Brandon's also got to go into work at some point this weekend, as is usual now that he's basically got two jobs and school to tend to.
Also frantically making appointments to meet with photogs in Santa Fe and Albuquerque next weekend. Haven't even started on the cake people yet. *sigh* Not loving this part of the whole wedding planning fiasco. =(
Anyway, happy weekend to everyone who gets one, and a big
to my mommy. She is the best mommy in the world and I loves her lots.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
A Brief Brief History of Time
(A commentary containing the sense of Hawking’s book without the lame science asshattery, but with much more l33t. This is not intended as a serious study aid, more as an aid to bluffing the book at parties. Although if you’re talking about this shit at parties you need to hang out with people other than Star Trek nerds. Also, this is something I'm doing purely for fun. I intend no disrespect, slander or infringement to any persons mentioned.)
And so on. It starts out something like this:
Chapter 1: Our Picture of the Universe
(Should really have been called “Well that about wraps it up for God.”)
The Universe: *exists*
Prehistoric Mankind: *exists also*
The Universe: *is very mysterious*
Slightly Less Prehistoric Mankind: OMG! Lights in the sky! WTF is up with that?
The Universe: *grins mysteriously*
Even Less Prehistoric Mankind: Well, all of this is here for us, obv. We are, after all, the sharpest tools in this particular box.
The Dolphins: Not bloody likely. *grumble grumble*
And really, anything with that many references to the Hitchhiker's guide in such a small space really deserves a read. Funny funny funny. Go. Read. Seriously.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Does anyone have Showtime and a VCR and a blank tape that they want to give me?
Because OH MY GOD, they've remade "Reefer Madness" as a MUSICAL.
I kid you not.
"Based upon the 1938 cult classic, Reefer Madness is an all-singing, all-dancing, all-toking extravaganza. Starring Alan Cumming, Kristen Bell, and Christian Campbell, in Reefer Madness clean-cut kids turn into deranged, sex-crazed hopheads at the hands of the oily Jack (Steven Weber), misguided Mae (the ever-excellent Ana Gasteyer) and the wiles of the dreaded ganga plant."
Please somebody, SOMEBODY tape this for me. I will forever ever ever be in your debt.
8:00pm Saturday. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
There was a very pompous man named Hilbert who is a published, working author who claimed he was only coming to these meetings to network, though it seemed very much like he wanted to lead the meeting. He had a hole in his head. No, really. An actual HOLE in the side of the back of his head. Creepy.
Then there was Troy, who told us that he is writing a murder mystery and started it on a dare. He said his friend gave him a book to read, and he told his friend the book was pretty crappy, at which point the friend said, "Well, you couldn't do any better," and so he decided to try. He had light almond colored skin, a light brown mustache, hazel eyes, a shaved bald head, and a large diamond earring. He also writes his story -- all thirty some odd chapters so far -- in long hand, and when he read the first chapter to us, he actually just recited it from memory, even though he had the paper right in front of him.
Nick was an Asian man who lost his wife to cancer four years ago and started writing poetry about his grief. He'd never written anything before. He produced his own chapbook of his poems and had two of them published in Grieving Magazine. Now his grief is mostly spent, and he was afraid he wouldn't have anything to write about any more, but he has recently discovered joy in writing poetry about everyday things.
Laura was a white-haired grandmother who has published several novels and poems, and was proudest of the poems that were published in the same anthology as some poems her 11 year old grandson had written.
Jennifer came with her sister Jessica for moral support. Jennifer said she wants to write young adult novels, and then didn't say anything else for the entire remainder of the evening. Her sister claims that she doesn't write and only reads when it's required or if it's an article in a fashion magazine.
But my FAVORITE of all the people there was Luke. Luke is ten years old with brown hair, blue eyes, and the sweetest smile you've ever seen. He and his father, Phil, go to the bookstore every Wednesday night for their special father son time. Luke has three brothers, all of whom are into sports like his father, but he prefers to read and write. Apparently, he saw the sign for the writing group and told his dad he wanted to go, so they came. He was clutching his leather bound writing journal in his hands and told us that he's writing a story about a boy who "goes to Italy and has Amazing Adventures." Coolest. Kid. Ever. =D
According to Hilbert, there were half a dozen or more other people who showed up to the first meeting who didn't appear for this one, including a store employee who's supposed to moderate, but who hurt her back and couldn't attend this meeting (which gives me hope that Hilbert won't be dominating the meetings every time). I didn't read anything, because I didn't really go prepared, but next time I think I'll take something to share.
If nothing else, it was fascinating to meet so many new people with so little -- and yet so much -- in common.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Song 1 The problem at hand: "Mack the Knife" Bobby Darin
Sample lyric: Now on the sidewalk, on a sunny morning (uh-huh) lies a body, just-a oozing life, and someone's sneaking 'round the corner. Could that someone be Mack the Knife?
Interpretation: Maybe I'm being stabbed in the back. Or somebody's being sneaky... (Big shocker there...)
Song 2 Your feelings about same:"Unmasking the Phantom" Phantom of the Opera
Sample lyric:Damn you! You little prying Pandora! You little cretin! Is this what you wanted to see? Curse you!
Interpretation: I want to unmask the person being sneaky? Either that or I'm just seriously pissed off about the whole thing. Probably the latter. ;c)
Song 3 The environment in which you operate: "Notes 2" Phantom of the Opera
Sample lyric: This is lunacy, well you know my views! Utter lunacy, but we daren't refuse.
Interpretation: Haha. Crazy micromanagement?
Song 4 Immediate action to be taken: "Too Marvelous for Words" Frank Sinatra
Sample lyric: You're just too marvelous. Too marvelous for words. Like glorious, glamorous, and that old standby amorous...
Interpretation: Trust that I'm a good person, good worker, etc. and have some damned self-esteem. Is that what you're trying to tell me, Franky baby?
Song 5 Likely outcome: "Undertow" Genesis
Sample lyric: Stand up to the blow that fate has struck upon you,
Make the most of all you still have coming to you
Interpretation: Make the most of a bad situation and maybe start looking forward to what I could do instead.
Wow. I think this thing really works... =)
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Therefore. Anything snarky I may say cannot be held against me.
Fair warning, people. Stay the HELL outta my way.
[Very seriously considering taking a mental health day, more for my coworkers' personal health and safety than for my own...]
Friday, April 08, 2005
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
Thursday, April 07, 2005
But. I had made plans earlier in the week to go to a pilates class for the first time with a friend. I TOTALLY wanted to back out, but she wouldn't let me. We went, the excercise kicked my BUTT, and I actually feel a lot better now.
YAY FOR ME!
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
I'm so in love. I've got 90 songs, and I'm not even a quarter of the way through my CD collection. SO EXCITED.
I'm also going to think about joining this site called audible.com which sells audio books and other content (like NPR shows, New York Times audio digest, etc.). For less than the price of a single book, you can subscribe and get two books or magazines a month. I think it would ROCK to be able to listen to a book while I was working out.
Not that I work out that often. But hey, if I had a great book to go back to, maybe it would entice me to work out more often, right?
Ooo! And the other cool thing is that I got this adapter thingy (free with mail in rebate) that will broadcast a signal from the iPod to any FM radio -- you just pick an empty station and you can play your music through the radio. This means I can play it in my CAR or on my big stereo or on ANYBODY's stereo or radio ANYWHERE!!!
=D YAY IPOD!
Monday, April 04, 2005
Saturday was gorgeous. It's just getting to where it's hot enough during the day that you want to be outdoors in the sunshine without a sweater. We went to the farmer's market in the morning and bought all kinds of yummy spring fruits and veggies -- asparagus, baby squash, avacados, bok choy, strawberries, and oranges. Then we went to TJ's to supplement our weekly groceries, which is a joy in and of itself, because I LOVE shopping at Trader Joe's. I just do. This week's exciting find: spinach and tofu egg rolls in the frozen section. Then, while Brandon went into the lab for a few hours, I went out and bought a strapless top for the sole purpose of sitting in the sun -- I refuse to have a farmer's tan for my wedding! So I took the computer and went and sat by the pool for a while to soak up some good old vitamin D. The really exciting thing is that there are several unprotected networks in range of the pool onto which I can sneak. The upshot of this is that I can surf the internet while sitting by the pool. How freaking Californian is that?? I love it.
Saturday night we went down the Irvine Spectrum -- a huge outdoor mall. We had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, and then wandered around happily for a while.
Sunday was nice, but a little cooler. Not quite so well suited for staying outdoors, so we practically -- but not very excitingly -- decided to stay home and do our taxes. Scary.
The scariest thing about my taxes this year was that, for the first time in my entire tax-filing life, I lived in only one state and had only one job. And the amount of income I earned from said job was a respectable adult amount, and not a piddly $5,000 here, $8,000 there the way most of my adult life has been.
Also, it was vaguely amusing to me to discover that I owed $3.31 in state taxes. First of all, state taxes are new to me as Texas, where I've always filed before, does not have a state tax. And second, it was just bloody amusing to write a three dollar check for my taxes.
I will not, saddly, be getting a refund this year, but Brandon, being the poor college student that he is (at least for a few more months) is getting a nice fat return. I asked him what he was going to do with it, and he said, "Travel to France."
Sweet boy. Gotta love him. =)
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Did you recently vociferate a squeal?'
'Oh, I trod up an amphisbaena,
And it bit me on the toe and on the heel.
Yes, it bit me (do you know)
With its tail upon the toe,
While it bit me with its head upon the heel!'
'How excessively distracting and confusing.
Pray what, Thomasina, did you do?'
'Oh, I took the garden scissors I was using
And I snipped it irretrievably in two.
And it split with such a scrunch
That I shall not want my lunch.
And if you had heard the noise no more would you.'
'And where, Thomasina, are the sections
Of the foe that you courageously repressed?'
'Oh, they ran away in opposite directions,
And they vanished in the east and in the west.
And the way they made me squint,
It would melt a heart of flint,
And I think that I will go upstairs and rest.'
(I always thought it was, "In the back back garding Thomas Minna," so, when searching for this poem, I actually typed in "In the back back garden Thomas" first. I had to remove the Thomas to find it. =)
And he lived on an island in the deep blue sea
And he ate little fishes that were most delicious
And he had them for supper and he had them for tea.
Now this little puffin, he couldn't play nothin'
For he hadn't anybody to play with at all
So he sat on his isle and he cried for awhile
And he felt very little and he felt very small.
Now these little fishes, they said "If you wishes
You may have us for playmates instead of for tea"
Now they all play together in all kinds of weather
And now the puffin eats pancakes like you and me.
Friday, April 01, 2005
Happy April Fool's Day!
This means that when I got to work this morning, my previous desktop computer had been replaced with a new one, one connected to our new corporate network, and one which:
a)would not accept my password (because the Network People changed it without telling me)
b)does not have any of the programs I need to do my work installed on it
c)does not have any of my previous permissions attributed to me (so I can't access any of the network drives)
But I do now have the interoffice instant message program installed. Because it's oh-so important for me to be able to chat with my coworkers while waiting to be able to do any real work.
The very best part of all is that they Corporatized my co-worker at the same time. Neither of us has access to any of our programs that we use to troubleshoot user problems, and since most of the users have now been COrporatized as well, they have a LOT of problems. I work in IT, people. I NEED MY BLEEPING COMPUTER TO WORK.
Could this week get any better??
I was chatting this morning with one of my coworkers via my new instant message system, and she asked, "Could it be an April Fool's joke?"
Oh how I sincerely wish it was. But it's not. Because Corporate does not have a sense of humor.