June 2003 Archives

Mental Movies

The past two nights, I have had the most awesome dreams. Very vivid, very entertaining, and (of course) very hard to describe upon waking.

Friday night's dream involved some sort of modern/medieval community. I was declaring titles and jobs for people: Master and Mistress of the Harvest and suchlike. Over all extremely difficult to describe beyond that, but I'd love to go back to that place sometime if I could.

Saturday night, I dreamt a very Matrixy dream. It even had Randall Duk Kim as the "Cabinetmaker". ("The Matrix, The Witch, and The Wardrobe"?)

I wonder what tonight will bring.


<stares up at sky>

Ooooooooo. Shiiiiiiiny.

<stares down at glowy necklace purchased by friend from street vendor>

Ooooooooo. Shiiiiiiiny.

'Twas a good night.


This August, my upstairs neighbor is going to be taking part in ACT I (AIDS Network Cycles Together), a six-day, 400+ miles bikeride through (hilly) southwestern Wisconsin to raise money and promote awareness and tolerance for AIDS, AIDS research and the like. It being a fundraising event, we are looking to raise some funds. If you would like to help sponsor this hardworking rider, let me know, and I will get you in touch with her.

And speaking of fundraising, don't forget that Blogathon 2003 is coming soon. Get ready for the shakedown. I'll try to plan something fun.

Just to report

I have installed 1/2 of my new seat belt. The part that was broken has been removed (thanks to my trusty new ratchet set) and a new one has taken its place. However, the old seat belt and the new do not fit together, so until I have the other half installed, it is just as pointless as the broken one. (Currently I'm buckling into the passenger clip when I have to drive.)

The shoulder harness half will be installed as soon as I can: 1. get the horribly rusted bolts removed (and replaced) and 2. figure out how in the devil the upper attachment works.

It felt very cool, though, to be doing my own car repair. This is something that was supposed to cost over $400 if I'd had the mechanics do it for me. With parts, shipping, and tools, I'm at around $100. Plus I get that warm fuzzy sense of accomplishment.

Of course, installing it myself means that if it fails in an accident and I die, my next of kin have no one to sue but me. ;) (KIDDING!!!! Mom, Dad, don't worry. I'm pretty confident in my handywork.)

And then they came for me....


I am having some serious food cravings. If I actually had money, I'd totally be heading to a restaurant and/or grocery store right now. Assorted foods all sound really good at the moment: steak, sushi, chocolate, crusty bread... However, I do not, in fact, have money. So I shall make do with leftover tacos and chocolate milk. Again.

Don't talk to strangers


Ew. I had a creeepy guy try to bum a ride from me in the parking lot after work. This scuzzy looking man (unkempt with a ripped t-shirt) was struggling through the lot wheeling a bicycle and carrying another bike wheel. There were some (text?)books strapped to a rack on the back of the bike. When he saw me heading to my Jeep, he said hi, then walked back over to it, stood by my still open drivers door, and started talking about how difficult it was going to be for him to get home. I told him sorry, and shut the door.

He really stank, and spoke none too clearly. I'm pretty sure that the bike and stuff was stolen. It looked suspicious.

"Why sure Mr. Scary-looking Creepy Man! I may be a small woman all alone, but I'd be happy to give you and your stolen property a lift in my not very spacious vehicle, especially now that it is kind of dark from the rain."

This just in

Today I read that Joseph Fiennes is going to be playing the title role in Luther, a Martin Luther biopic coming this fall. I never would have imagined hottie-hot Joseph Fiennes as Martin Luther. Go figure.

Do that little dance!

She's right, you know. It's terribly addictive.

Whine whine whine

A ponderation...

Why is it that when I owe money, I need to pay it RIGHT NOW, but when I am owed money, everyone wants me to wait? I hate that.

There goes another one

For the longest days of the year, that felt like a very short weekend. Not that I didn't get a lot done, but working over time on a weekend really makes it feel like it wasn't a weekend.

Saturday night, I pondered the many possibilities for Solstice activities, and settled on the Harry Potter Gryffindor Gala at the Union Terrace. They showed Chamber of Secrets at dusk. I was surprised, however, at how few people there were in costume. There was a costume contest and free "butterbeer" for anyone in costume and this *is* Madison, after all. Yet those in costume were a teeny tiny minority. A little disappointing, but a bit of ice cream got me over that really fast.


Grease Monkey

I've decided, as Jeep owner (well, part-owner, since most of it still belongs to the credit union), that I need to really be able to work on my car. Hell, there's no major fancy-schmancy computer shit, it's modular, and you can order damn near any part yourself.

The wisdom of this was revealed to me when I took the Jeep in to have the broken seat belt replaced. I was told by my reputable, trusty mechanics that the labor wouldn't be very much, but that the parts would bring the cost up to around $400. I almost cried when I heard that, because $400 is amongst the things I don't have. I told him I'd think about it, and then got off the phone.

I pondered for a bit, and then got online. A bit of Googling and I had three different sites offering the exact factory replacement seat belt I needed, all for $69, plus shipping. As soon as UPS gets my part to me, I can make my first major(ish) car repair. I hope. I may need help, but we shall see.

My mechanic was mighty impressed when I informed him what I was going to be paying for the part. I'd say their dealer is robbing them on the deal.

To make this all a little sweeter, one of my Half.com books sold today. It is a big, heavy art history book that I still have from my student days, and I shall be getting enough from that sale to cover the seat belt expense (after I get to the post office and ship it out). I was suprised that the book sold as quickly as it did. It is kind of an obscure selection, so I find the timing very serendipitous.

Moons and Sheep

Moonsheep Studio is the sumblime creation of Joel Stewart and Viviane Schwarz. I found the site by way of a charming (though unfortunate) tale in Neil Gaiman's journal, involving a bicycle, a burglar, banjos, and a button accordion. The illustrations have really drawn me in, and I shall have to explore it some more.

No superpowers

No new superpowers have made themselves evident, but neither have any signs of an allerguc reaction, so I guess I'm out of the woods.

Tonight was the first practice of the UW Summer Band, which served to remind me how badly I suck at sight reading.

The car is now in the shop. I'm on my bike for the next few days. I hope getting the seatbelt replaced isn't too expensive or time-consuming.


Waiting for my superpowers

I decided to take a shower and rinse of the rest of the chlorine before making dinner, and while I was rinsing my hair, I felt a sudden burning pain in the middle finger of my left hand. I quickly brought my hand down, and something large and black went flying to the shower floor. I looked, and there was a large black bug, drowning in the soapy water. I scooped it out into a container (dead) to try and identify it later, and watched the red bump on my finger swell.

I'm not sure where it came from, other that it might have been on the shower head and fell onto my head with the water. I can tell that it isn't a roach or a wasp, but I'm not really sure what it is, other than extremely freaky. Insects, especially large biting ones, do NOT belong in my shower.

I am allergic to bees, so I am keeping watch for signs of allergy, in case I might be allergic to this thing, too. It also remains to be seen whether I shall develop and cool new talents, like wall climbing.

Always something

I swear, I try to be cheery and optimistic, but there's only so much you can take.

Today's weather was even more beautiful than yesterday's. After grocery shopping, I heading out to Sun Prairie to swim and to read in the sunshine (beneath a layer of waterproof sunblock). Tra la la, right?

Upon reaching my car to go home, I discovered that the seatbelt on the driver's side won't work anymore. The spring in the latch has lost it's tension, and won't clip the belt. After determining that all buckling my belt into the passenger side buckle did was choke me, I drove myself home with paranoid care. Tomorrow I get to start looking for someone to repair it, and wondering how much that will cost me.

UW Summer Band starts tomorrow night, downtown. If I can't get the latch fixed right away, my choices are to skip out, to take the long bike ride after work (and then home at night), or more beltless driving. Bleargh.

However, none of that can be dealt with now, so I'm going to make the most of the rest of my evening by making fajitas. So there!


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Scrumptiously sleepy.

Yet another satisfying Saturday. More Planning of Parenthoods at the Farmer's Market this morning, followed by 2/$1 scones. (Sure, when you shop the market at 1PM, a lot of good stuff is gone, but since people are starting to pack up, the deals are amazing!) I took the top down on the Jeep for the first time for the cruise home, which was made the ride delightful. I dried my laundry on the line outside, for that oh so fresh smell. I picked up two new clothing items (which I desperately need) for only a wee bit of money. I also had a delightful dinner. Very nice. I'm now feeling totally lazy.

I think that if the weather is as beautiful as they say it will be tomorrow, I'm going to go out and lounge about a pool all freaking day. Oh yeah.

Let the sun shine in.

After a number of setbacks and reschedulings, I finally was able to get the hard top taken off my Jeep, and replaced with a folding soft top. Many thanks to my dad for all his help in that activity. Drove around for a bit tonight with the doors off. That was splendid.

Still, I'm probably biking to work tomorrow.

Early Buzz

Sure it's not 2004 yet, but I'm hearing good things about Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich.

Archive Monkey

My memory is a doubke edged sword. I am currently trying to find something that first found as a link in someone's blog. Unfortunately, I don't remember enough to accurately Google it (well it was this thing with some stuff...). I also don't remember in which blog I read it, or precisely when I read it. I know it was between 9-11-01 and 8-01-02 (pretty sure it was before August). So, I am scrolling through the archives of some of the more likely blog candidates, and hoping I can find it. (I am also hoping that it is a blog that still exists and I still read.) I've already read through Neil Gaiman's journal (the likeliest place) twice. No luck so far.

I think I need to do one of the following:

1. Improve my memory.
2. Get lucky.
3. Stop caring about this and get a life.

Almost too nice to summarize

I've had quite a lovely weekend. Mostly lots of little nice things that stack up into a whole lot of nice. Yesterday the sun was shining and the air was pleasantly warm with just a hint of a breeze. Perfect weather for the Farmer's Market, where I tied helium balloons until my fingers were as green as the latex. Perfect weather for wandering down to the Terrace, where I ate discounted baked goods and read. Perfect weather for meandering up State Street, where I sat for an hour or so listening to Lou and Peter Berryman, playing as a part of the Folk at Four series. Perfect weather for dawdling around the Capitol, where I people watched and ate more baked goods.

Today was rainy, but in a good way. I got a lot done. Tomorrow is supposed to be drier, so I may be able to bike to work.

God bless this time of year.


No, not the tv show or movie. Mash the game. Learn your future. Mansion, apartment, shack, or house? Fabulous way to get through another boring study hall...er...whatever.


My letter to Time (in re: astroturf)


I know that the Thomas J. Stokes letter was a piece of GOP Team Leader "astroturf". You know that the Thomas J. Stokes letter was a piece of GOP Team Leader "astroturf". I know that you know and you know that I know, and we both know that we know we know... (I also know that I am starting to sound like a sitcom , here.)

My question to you is this: will you be addressing the truth about the letter and/or the "astroturf" phenomenon in the pages of your magazine? It is all well and good to acknowledge the issue to those readers who spot the GOP TL chicanery and write in about it, but it is even better to let all readers in on the revelation. The wool has been pulled over their eyes by those who would pass off party propaganda as the original writing of an average citizen. It is your duty as a journalistic periodical to present the facts of the case.

Thank you.

Katherine Olson

By the by, I love the word "chicanery" and don't think it gets used nearly enough. I wonder how long it will go the way of "niggardly"?

chicanery - 1609, from Fr. chicanerie "trickery," from M.Fr. chicaner "to pettifog, quibble," perhaps from M.L.G. schikken "to arrange, bring about," or from the name of a golf-like game once played in Languedoc.

The duck says...Quack?

I have a new fuzzy, stuffed duck. When you squeeze it, it cries, "AFLAC! AFLAC! AFLAAAAC!!!" Somehow, it manages to be both cute and frightening.


Tonight I caught an episode of CSI: Miami. I was soundly unimpressed. Somehow, I was not at all surprised during the closing credits, to see that Jerry Bruckheimer is involved. Figures.

CSS, on the othe hand, is coming along slowly. I'm about halfway through the book, and progress goes in fits and starts. I'm sure that I'll love this when I have it down, but for now I really just want to stick tags on everything and make some nested tables.


Almost Famous

Ok, not even close to famous, but I did have my picture in the paper today. As I mentioned earlier, a WSJ photographer took my picture a few weeks ago, as I was dong T'ai Chi on the banks of the Yahara during a work break. This article and picture were in the Daybreak section today, though not online. I may be able to link to the picture in a day or so, though. I'm pleased to say that I didn't look entirely stupid, either.

Little Miss Muffett

So, there was no tuffet, neither were there any dairy products. There was, however, a great big hairy spider. Don't get me wrong, I'm not arachnophobic and actually like spiders. They eat mosquitoes, so I see them as good luck. But this spider was on my leg.

There I was, sitting on a hill in the park, enjoying the day. I felt something brush my arm, and when I looked down, there was a spider about the size of my thumbnaiil, crawling along my outer thigh. I've seen some big spiders before. I've seen hugey-huge ones in containment, and I've seen the kind with medium-sized bodies and lots o'leg in the wild. While this one was smaller than the caged tarantulas I've seen, it had all those thin, spindly spiders beat to hell. It was...muscular. It was fat and hairy, and all of it's parts were clearly visible. Eight beady eyes stared at me and its palps waved around.

I jumped about a foot it shock, brushing it off onto the grass. I watched it creep about for a few minutes, then decided that if I was sitting in its territory, I had best go elsewhere. So, elsewhere I went.

About an hour later I was sitting on a park bench, soaking up the sun (through SPF 15) and listening to all the park sounds. I glanced over at my bike, which was parked next to me in the grass, and sitting on the seat was another spider. Smaller than the first and of a different breed, it was still pretty hefty. I decided that have a spider build its web on my bicycle would be less than ideal, so this spider was also sent to the grass.

Just call me Miss Muffet, y'all,

Random Bananas

What do you get when you mix on barium and two sodiums? Banana! Ouch. Sorry, bad chemistry joke.

Bananas loom large in my life right now, being only $.49/lb. I eat a lot of them, even though I don't really like them. I also make a lot of banana bread, which I do like, fortunately. (I used to make banana shakes and smoothies, until I broke my damn blender.)

This, however, is not a post about actual bananas. This is a post about Strange Banana, a program that randomly generates other websites, which can then be used as templates for one's own site. Being randomly generated, there are some pretty hideous designs. (A couple of the color combinations threaten retinal damage.) However, some of the designs are quite nice. I'm having fun refreshing the page over and over, just to see what comes next.

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

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