July 2003 Archives

I'm just projecting

One thing I love about the web is the sheer number of projects. Especially the collaborative ones.

The Mirror Project

The Shadow Project

Project Gutenberg

Project Vote Smart

The Web Standards Project

Project Chopsticks

The Mayfly Project

Etc. etc. etc.

So communal. It is great to see that there are so many people willing to come together to create something bigger than themselves. Yes it does happen in the real world, but people seem less afraid to do it on the net. Yes, you do get some turds in the punchbowl on the net, but they seems easier to filter out.

I like this trend. Maybe someday I will start a project. For now, though, I will be happy to contribute to contribute to others' projects.

Staying put


Tomorrow is August the first, and for the first time since 1997, I don't have to put all of my belongings into cardboard boxes, and then onto a truck, and then off of a truck, and then out of cardboard boxe. I will not have to forward my mail, or establish new phone or utility service. I don't have to scrub and wrestle for a security deposit. I don't have to order pizza for kind yet exhausted friends, who have been hauling furniture in the heat. I don't have to find a place to sleep for a night of homelessness.

It is nice to be continuing a lease.


Two cool links via Metafilter.

FirstM we have Russ Feingold's campaign for 2004. No way are they going to take away the best man in the Senate.


Woke up today feeling like crap. Called in sick and slept till 2. Still feel like crap. I hope I feel better tomorrow, because I can't see calling in two days in a row when we are so busy at work. Ugh.


I think, when it comes right down to it, I would rather be physically hurt than betrayed. Betrayal is the worst sin, and it is the one that humans seem the best at.

Anyone for Tennis?

Last night, as I was getting ready for bed, my phone rang. I wondered who would possibly be calling at that hour. Intrigued, I answered, but there was no one on the line. The puzzled me further, so I *69ed the number. As I was writing down the number given, I realized that it was my cell phone #. I had just plugged the phone in a moment or so before the phone rang, so I must have hit a button.

What I found really odd is that while I do have my home number programmed into my cell phone's memory, I haven't dialed it since last year when I was living with roommates. How that number dialed itself is a mystery. I think my phone is getting wonky, since I also can't seem to delete numbers anymore.

Yes, I'm awake already.


I got about 4 hours of sleep before hunger and daytime noise got the better of me.

However, hurrah for the latest sponsor. Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached an even $300.

Thanks you all.

Just remembered

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My clock is a few minutes fast (to match my work time clock) so I'll tag one more post on here. La la la la la.

Tick tick tick

There it is

8 AM. The time I would normally be getting up if this were a weekday. The time that I started at this yesterday. There was a whole lotta blogging in those 24 hours, and I am so ready to get some sleep.

I'm still only $13 shy of that elusive $300. The Blogathon people are leaving the sponsorship open for the next 48 after the 'thon, so if you want to be that special someone who makes an important difference this is your chance.

It's been real, and it's been fun. In fact, it *has* been real fun.

Wierd smells

So yesterday I used a new conditioner. I like how it smelled, but now I am facing a problem I tend to have when using a new hair product...my hair smells different, and not at all the way "my hair" smells, to my mind. It always takes a while for that "someone else's hair" sensation to go away. At the moment, it is being amplified by my lack of sleep, and it is starting to wig me out. Icky.

New Clinic

On the local level, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is planning to build a brand new Comprehensive Reproductive Health Center(PDF--believe me, I looked for it in HTML).There is a great deal of excitement about this facility and all it will have to offer. (The PDF I've linked to isn't the best of the descriptions I've read.) Among the many, many offerings will be abortion services provided by Dr.Dennis Christensen. Of course, what do the anit-choicers focus on? Yup, nothing but that.

Right now, none of the Planned Parenthood clinics in Madison offer abortions, so they are pretty much protestor-free. What worries me is that once this clinic is opened, the protestors will flock to it, and everyone going to the clinic will have to face their ire, whether it be for birth control pills, cancer screenings, or an actual abortion.

However, I am not very comforted by the "Bubble Zone of Safety" type laws, as I worry how the principles can be applied to other protests. For example, the so called "Free Speech Zones".

Ugh, I hate being on both sides of an issue.

In perspective

I'd guess that between losing power entirely and getting a "Mozilla had unexpectedly quit, yadda yadda yadda", I'll go with the browser crash.

Back on the train

Well, that freeze I had at 9:11 last night decided it wasn't going to be my last. This morning Mozilla crashed twice in a row. Of course, the first time had to be when I had a nice big entry ready to go, but not permanently saved anywhere...I'm not even going to try to re-write it.

I am pretty sure that I have got everything sorted out now, though who can say for sure, as that was the sleepiest tech support I've ever done. While it was down, I wrote down and dated a couple of brief entries, and now that things seem to be back to normal, I've used Movable Type's editing function to make the date reflect when they were actually written, rather than when I was able to enter them. A little unconventional, hence the full disclosure.


Apparently not. Ok....I'm going to run a virus scan etc and restart. In the meantime I'm going to write down my entries, and manually set the date when and if I get this freezing up crap sorted out.


My computer has been acting wierd as heck. I think I've got the problem fixed though. (Knock on wood) I really don't like doing tech support at this hour.


Let's hear it for now thunderstorm and for continuing electricity.


Usually my alarm goes off at 7 and I get up at 8.


Character? Morpheus, Dream of the Endless.




Charlie's Angels: 2




Juice and breakfast cereal or a bagel


Excessive bodily discharge, especially that of someone else.




Life. The Universe. Everything,








Yes please. I'm also fond of caramel corn.


Partial to good shades of red, blue, and green.


That I own? My Jeep. That I wish I did? A hybrid electric car that looks exactly like an old-style Beetle convertible...but it doesn't exist yet.


Sushi. Or Chocolate.


someday, if you please (or did you say "to blave"?)


abject cowardice




To cash it in? As soon as they'd let me? Why, should I hold onto the ticket longer?


Still. And Cold.




Which one? I have several key rings.




My schedule. Several tasks at once.




Went to an art opening, dinner, and a movie with my terribly disappointing ex. (well, he is now.)


Blood and organ.


No Idea.


No one

The standing

I wonder if something happened, or if it is just a result of fatigue...Chocolatada hasn't been updated in quite some time now.

They've started to give away t-shirts to those who are awake and paying attention at Blogathon.

And miles to go before I sleep.

Well, more like four hours. Still waiting for that last $13. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Did I mention that I may be going in to work some overtime later on today?

Sex Ed

I'm glad that, for the moment at least, sex ed has mostly advanced over the days of the film strip and a pamphlet. At least in many places. (I have to admit that in my private, religious high school, we didn't even have that.) I did get a pamphlet from the doctor once entitled What is Happening to my Body? It had cheesy pink flowers on the cover.

Still, there is a good deal of camp value in those old scare films.

I also have fond memories of the sex-ed scene in Monty Python's Meaning of Life, a movie which also featured that delightful ditty, "Every Sperm is Sacred".

(Ok, I'm getting a little past fully coherent, but I am still able to look up which titles should be italicized, and which need brackets. Go me.)

The Safest Sex

To be sure, the safest sex is sex with yourself. "Masterbation: sex with someone who really loves you." So I guess this is where the dildos and dolls come in. (No pun intended.)

Would you like your dildo in glass ("Note: These are made of Pyrex, but like all glass sex toys, please exercise caution when handling it, as even a small nick in the glass will make it unsafe to use.") or would you prefer something vibrating and cartoon themed? Or are you looking for something very expensive and anthropomorphic (and creepy)? Of course, you can always do it the old fashioned way. Don't worry, even if you do grow hair on your palms or start to go blind, they can do wonderful things with lasers these days.

But remember, just because it is the safest sex doesn't mean you shouldn't be careful.

(All of these are pretty much NSFW)

Excuse me, I need to go wash my eyes now.


My next entry is going to be a bit of a doozy, in the Not Safe For Work sense. I am so setting myself up to have nothing but pr0n-seekers in my referral logs for the next 3 months. *sigh*

I'll do something lighter and more family-friendly in the post following that one.

Time for a new street sign

2AM already. Only six hours to go. Anyone got that last $13?


Tonight's featured ice cream flavors:

Eddy's Dreamery Tiramisu and Black Raspberry Avalanche.

Not only are these both extremely, sinfully delicious, but they are far less expensive than Ben and Jerry's. Call me a convert.

(By the by, I love the fact that they include the artist bios on the flavor pages.

Hoo hah!

I just scored 280 points, the top score, in that condom game, without getting a single baby. Go me!!

(sad, innit?)

In case anyone cares

I'm really liking the love seat.

Mmmm, spa time.

At this hour, I am starting to consider booking myself something nice at an area day spa when this is all over. Maybe a massage or a pedicure.

But, knowing me, I probably won't.

God bless Uncle Dubya

Thank god that George Bush has stepped in to protect the oppressed women of Iraq. Everything is so much better now.

I feel so warm and fuzzy.

Current Contraceptive Choices

While searching on this topic, I found several decent sites. However, the most comprehensive that I found were the pages from Planned Parenthood. On these pages you can find information on everything from continuous abstinence and Natural Family Planning to IUDs and the Pill. It gives the advantages and disadvantages of each method (and they all have some of each), but it doesn't try to advocate for or against any given method. The comparison of effectiveness is pretty straight forward. Over all, it gives a balanced, "here's the info, now you decide what will work in best your life" approach. Your body, your choice.

Here's the disclaimer:

Eighty-five percent of women who use no contraceptives during vaginal intercourse become pregnant each year. The only guarantee against pregnancy is not having vaginal intercourse. Other contraceptive methods can greatly reduce the risk of pregnancy during vaginal intercourse.

Your contraceptive needs may change throughout your life. To decide which method to use now, you need to know

* How well will it fit into your lifestyle?
* How convenient will it be?
* How effective will it be?
* How safe will it be?
* How affordable will it be?
* How reversible will it be?
* Will it protect against sexually transmitted infections?

We hope this information can help you decide…

Some people, of course, have a problem with that.

Ain't it just so?

My favorite t-shirt image from whitehouse.org (yes, I have it and wear it quite often.) now has now has some tempting company.

If you build it, they will come.

Here is what I just don't understand about pr0n spam. Most people who want to find pr0n on the internet are pretty persistant about finding it. Anyone who has ever looked at the referral logs of a weblog can tell you that. On the other hand, most of the people who receive pr0n spam really don't want anything to do with it. So, how on earth does anyone consider spam to be a good marketing tool? Why does it not only still exist but continue to grow?

What we need to do is not (just) crack down on the spammers, but we need to get those two or three little bastards that are actually responding to it.


Nothing like a quick shower to alleviate the stress of a long, hot day, and wake you up for a night of blogging.


I was just able to draw upon my vast knowledge of mostly useless facts. The radio dj wanted to know the name of an instrument heard in the song he was about to play. Remembering from my days of high school and college percussion, I was pretty sure that it was a cuica (pronounced "Kwee-kah"). So I called in and told him so.

Of course, I could be wrong.

"George W. Bush's War on Women: A Pernicious Web"

This Planned Parenthood report gives a chilling point-by-point look at the steps this administration and its allies have taken to reduce the reproductive freedoms enjoyed by women. I guess it isn't enough that the rest of our rights are going down the PATRIOT tubes. For those that would call this alarmist or an overreaction, I will point out that it wasn't that long ago that contraception, not just abortion, was illegal. That doesn't seem too far away, especially considering that in Wisconsin Assembly Bill 63 (pdf)(HTML)/Senate Bill 21 (pdf)(HTML) would allow a pharmacist to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraception if they are morally opposed to it. The bill says:

This bill provides that a pharmacist licensed by the Pharmacy Examining
Board (board) in the Department of Regulation and Licensing (DRL) may not be
required to dispense a prescribed drug or device if the pharmacist has reason to
believe that the drug or device would be used for causing an abortion. An “abortion”
is defined as the use of an instrument, medicine, drug, or other substance or device
with the intent to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant or for
whom there is reason to believe that she may be pregnant.

I have heard some argue that birth control pills are actually a form of abortion. This goes double for emergency contraception which is taken up to 120 hours after intercourse. (And can be incredibly vital for victims of sexual assault.)

It's a slippery slope, and we are on it.

An Omen?

At 9:11:11 PM, while clicking a link to a site summarizing Bush's assault on women's reproductive freedoms, my computer went into a hard freeze and had to be restarted. Blah.

Summertime, and the livin' is easy

It is really so much cheaper to live during the summertime. I don't use AC and it stays light so much later, so my energy bills drop way low. In addition, I don't cook as much hot food, and I can dry a lot of my clothes outside for further energy savings. (Not to mention saving quarters from the drier.) I can comfortabley bike and walk to many places, reducing my use of gasoline and wear-and-tear on the car. Fresh fruits and vegetables are cheaper since they are in season. There are tons of free entertainment opportunities outside.

If only it could be summer all year. Yet, would the character of this place that I love change if we weren't in this temperate zone of four changing seasons? I believe it would.

Needless to say, my laundry has been successfully line-dried, and no rain yet.


New Sign

And once again, we have a new street sign for the halfway point.

Giving it up for the sex

If you've been enjoying the day so far, how about becoming a sponsor? Irving Place is only $13 away from reaching $300. Plus Planned Parenthood makes it easy to donate. Come on now, is $13 that much?

Of course, a $35 pledge will help even more, as corporations like to look at the number of donations that size or larger when considering how much to donate to a charity. And then, at $50 and $100 you can get yourself a Wicked Women print, 5x7 or 8x10, respectively.

Society for Human Sexuality

The Society for Human Sexuality(NSFW) is " a social and educational organization whose purpose is to promote understanding and appreciation for the many forms of adult intimate relationships and consensual sexual expression." Their site includes reviews of sex toys and erotica, sex-positive city guides, information on topics from flirting to BDSM, and a guide to matchmaking services.


I just scored (heh heh) 120 points in that condom game. However, more fun that the game itself is making the little "willy" dance a little soft shoe. Shuffle, shuffle, bounce. Them's some talented balls, folks.

The (S)experts

Sex research...sex advice. The names that stand out in this field are the Kinsey Institute. In fact, the 1948 Kinsey Report has become such a part of our pop culture that it has a blues band named after it. Other sexperts include Dr. Ruth, Dr. Drew, and William F. Fitzgerald, Ph.D. aka the Sex Doc. And who could forget Dan Savage?

Actually, a little more looking would reveal that nowadays, almost everyone wants sex advice and almost everyone else want to give it. (Looked at the magazine rack of your average checkout counter lately?)

So much for just "doin' what comes naturally".


Like a little more sex with your museums? Visit the NYC Sex: How New York City Transformed Sex in America.

Could it be that there's no sex like MoSex?

If those museums caught your fancy, the libraries at Virginia Commonwealth University have compiled a whole list of History of the Health Sciences Museums.

Continuing the Museum Tour

Next up we have the Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health. Currently without a real brick and mortar home, it fills its space on the web quite thoroughly. It really quite a repository of information and interesting tidbits. Admittedly, it is a little odd that the museum was founded and is run by a man. Still...worth a look around.

The way we were.

As long as there has been sex, people have been trying to find ways to control it's consequences. Certainly our species has a will to reproduce, but there are times when it is undesirable. The History of Contraception Museum outside of Toronto, Canada collect and displays contraception methods used all over the world and throughout history. Some seem sensible, while others sound horrific. (Have you seen some of those early IUDs?)

Here is another article on the museum, with some more display case images.

While searching for more information on the block pessary, I found the curriculum for The History of Birth Control,a class offered at Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, which has some fascinating information. I wish was were able to attend this course.

Still no rain.

The weather continues to cooperate. I'm still a little nervous, though. Last year was beautiful and sunny. The thunderstorm didn't appear til dusk.

<fingers crossed>

More on Condoms

Interesting facts and history of condoms.

You can get free condoms or play games at the Trojan Condoms website. (Though I still like the Lycos game best.)

Condomania condoms and whatnot.

Then there's the site with a mascot/logo that looks scarily like what Twinkie the Kid would look like as an anthropomorphic condom.

Feeling Bitchy?

Could be the weather. Could be stress. Could be PMS or low blood sugar. Or maybe you are just a Heartless Bitch.

Hoping that the weather holds

I've taken the plunge and hung my laundry out on the line to dry. I really hope it doesn't rain, because I'm out of quarters.

Feeling Disgruntled?

You are not alone.

I could explore this site for hours.

Sex and chocolate

Hey, we all know that chocolate gives your brain a similar chemical reaction to sex, right? Well, right next door on the blog ring is the ever wonderful chocolate blog. Yum.


Time for a new street sign.

How to use a Condom

Many people think they have this down...they've seen the banana bit. However, at my PP volunteer session, we were all surprised by the steps we'd been missing.

1. Discuss birth control and/or STD/STI prevention methods with your partner...before you get your groove on. So many people don't want to do this, because they think it is awkward. Hello, this is SEX, people. How much more awkward is, "Ah, honey guess what the doctor said..."

2. Obtain condoms. They are everywhere these days. Not only do they appear in pharmacys and gas stations across the nation, but many places give them away, free for the taking. Even when they aren't free, they are still cheap. Much cheaper than the alternatives.

3. Check expiration date. So, you bought that jumbo-size box freshman year of college, and now it's time for your ten year reunion? Still got that same box? Toss it. Latex has a definite shelf life, and after time it starts to break down.

4. Gently squeeze condom package to feel for the air bubble. A package without the air bubble at the center has a hole or a leak somewhere, and should be thrown out. Also, keeping a condom in your wallet is a bad idea, as this will help break the condom.

5. Wait for sexual arousal and erection. You may think stopping midstream to bust out the condoms "breaks the mood" but trying to do things beforehand, putting a condom on a flaccid penis...that's just not going to work.

6. Carefully remove the condom from the wrapper. Don't try opening the package with your teeth, as this will make tearing more likely.

7. Place condom on the tip of the erect penis. For those that complain about the loss of sensation while wearing a condom, applying a dab of water based lubricant, like KY jelly, to the tip of the penis beneath the condom may help.

8.Squeeze the air out of the tip of the condom. This helps to leave a reservoir for the ejactulate. If the tip of the condom is tight to the head of the penis, it may be pressed up and out the end of the condom.

9. Unroll condom down the shaft of the penis. Make sure that the ring at the end of the condom reaches the base of the penis.

10. Do your thing, be it intercourse or oral.

11. Hold onto the rim of the condom and withdraw after ejaculation, before the penis grows flaccid. This helps to prevent spillage.

12. Remove condom, drawing it straight off. Don't roll or otherwise turn it inside out, again, to prevent spilling.

13. Tie the end of the condom into a knot (more spill prevention) and dispose. Not into the toilet. Also, if you are having sex somewhere like the great outdoors, give a hoot, don't pollute. Nothing says tacky, tasteless, and hazardous like a used condom on the ground. Ew.

Most condoms come with spermicidal lubricant. However, these should not be used for oral sex. There are non-lubed condoms available for oral sex. Non-lubed condoms should not be used for vaginal or anal intercourse.

Directions for the female condom can be found here.

Wigging out

I just went outside to trim down some of the spider plants that I have sitting on the back porch. I kept finding earwigs in the plant and pots. <shudder> I abhor those nasty little bugs. It's a safe bet that I won't be bringing those plants indoors anytime soon.

Actually, given that those are some of my "foster plants" I may take them back to work to see if the original owner wants them back this fall. I don't have as much room as I used to. If she doesn't, I'll give them away to whoever will take them.


<ssssshhh, don't tell. i'm going to become a secret shopper. it's gonna be james bond in the checkout line.>

New Sponsor

We have a new sponsor, bringing the total to $287. Getting close to $300, people. $13 to go....

Condom Fun (heh heh, score!)

I have been giggling up a storm over the Condom Game (NSW) on Lycos. It may be juvenile and silly, but it is also quite a trip watching that little guy hop around. (A wee bit disturbing, too.)

STD/STI prevention

We've established that STD/STIs are not fun, and best avoided. Let us now look at how to do just that.

First off, as a nod to all the "just don't do it" folks, it is true that abstinence will greatly reduce your chances of contracting an STD/STI. (Reduce, though not eliminate entirely. While sexual contact is the primary source of infection, most of these can be passed in other ways.)

Condoms, condoms, condoms. We always hear about condoms, don't we. Well that is because, as a barrier method, they are extremely effective at preventing the spread of STD/STI that require exchange of fluids. Besides regular condom, the female condom and the dental dam are also barrier methods.

Condoms and dental dams won't 100% protect against any and every chance of infection. For example, herpes and genital warts are transmitted by skin to skin contact, and can be found in areas of the body not covered by the barrier. This doesn't mean that they are useless, but it does mean that you should do a little more than just use a condom and hope for the best.

A good step is talking to your prospective partner. The old adage of "you aren't just sleeping with them, but everyone else they've been with, and so on" is pretty accurate. Discuss possible risks. Get yourself and your partner tested, just to be sure. Be honest with yourself, and with your partner.

more later...

Everyone loves vacation pictures, right?

Well they would if more people showed their photos like this. Very fun Flash piece, though it takes a while to load on 26k.

via Metafilter

Good 404

In other news

My love seat has just arrived.

UPDATE: I am definitely going to have to rearrange the living room.

What is an STD/STI?

STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease. (This is something you may already know.) STI, less familiar than the term STD, stands for Sexually Transmitted Infection. What's the difference?

For the purpose of this discussion, STD are viral (and at the moment, incurable, though treatable). STDs include: HIV, herpes, and . Hepatitis is also a virus that can be transmitted sexually. (Vaccines are available for hepatitis A and B, though not C. Some people who catch Hep A or B get through the infection and then get over it, while others remain infectious. There is a low success rate for treatments of Hep C.)

For the purposes of this discussion, STI are bacterial or parasitic, and can be cured with appropriate treatment. THese would include: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, scabies, and pubic lice. Also, yeast infections, while not really considered an STI, can be passed back and forth between partners is proper steps are not taken.

All in all, none of these are terribly fun or desirable.

Time for sex

Well, time to talk about

Back to Middle School

Heh, heh, Dildo.

(Yes, I know they've heard it before.)

The need for speed

I'm suddenly wishing that I already had that DSL connection I've been thinking about.

Hot hot hot

My cayenne pepper plant is looking lush and green. I've got four peppers growing on it at the moment. This is in addition to all of the dried peppers I have from previous crops, and the jar of cayenne pepper I had from the store. I really need to develop my palette for spicier food. Either that or start giving more of them away. That's a lot of pepper.


I've been getting a kick out of The Story About the Baby for a while now, especially since I know so many people who are either currently expecting or new parents. Now I can add Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing to the reading list. As I read the ideas people have had for their children's names, I start to wonder what could be possessing them? And then I think back to the time that I thought it would be a great idea to name kids April, May, June, and July (pronouced Julie, of course, so that the kid will spend the rest of her life correcting the spelling and pronuncation). Glad I grew out of that.


Is it ever worth it to sell your soul to Columbia House? I'm trying to figure out whether their introductory offer is really worth the committment.

Food fun...

What does it say about me that I actually think that the Hello Kitty rice ball (third pic down) is kinda cute? I don't think I could stomach the Pikachu, though.

Also, has any kid ever had more fun with a popsicle?

both via Indigoblog

Shout outs

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Hello to everyone out there reading along. Feel free to leave comments, if the spirit moves you.

A special hello to the purveyors of fresh varmints and Food Pr0n Musings. Rock on, ladies!


Well, so much for that sunshine. The clouds have rolled back in. Pray for my continuning supply of electricity.

More on Planned Parenthood...

Planned Parenthood has clinics is 49 states and DC. (I'm trying to figure out which state is currently clinicless.) The clinic in Madison was very important to me when I was without insurance last year. They charge a sliding scale, based on what you can afford. Without health insurance, I wouldn't have been able to afford to see my regular doctor, but with the PP clinic, I didn't have to go without basic health care.

Planned Parenthood is more than just a supplier of birth control. Some "pro-life" people like to paint Planned Parenthood as nothing but a bunch of abortionists. Not at all true. Not only does Planned Parenthood offer contraception and STD/STI testing and treatment, but Pap smears, breast exams, and other vital exams. How many women might let something like ovarian cysts go unnoticed and untreated, because they could not afford to see a doctor for regular checkups?

Besides which, their nurse practitioners are cooler than cool. I have yet to meet one that wasn't super nice and oh-so competent.

More in a bit...

To begin

Why don't I start by taking a look at Planned Parenthood itself? Their website is wonderfully put together and quite informative.

Founded in 1923 byMargaret Sanger as the American Birth Control League, PP has had an interesting and tumultuous history. Pretty much everyone knows that abortion was ilegal until 30 years ago and the Roe v. Wade decision, but did you realize that contraception itself was illegal at the beginning of the century/ A chilling thought, indeed.

Planned Parenthood's mission and policy statements are something I can really get behind:

Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual's income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence. We believe that respect and value for diversity in all aspects of our organization are essential to our well-being. We believe that reproductive self-determination must be voluntary and preserve the individual's right to privacy. We further believe that such self-determination will contribute to an enhancement of the quality of life, strong family relationships, and population stability.

More in a bit...


Today, sometime between 10 and 1, my new love seat will be showing up. Hurrah! I will be able to sit in something other than this darn wooden chair during the day. My butt will be so happy. Last night, I almost bought a new computer chair, but I decided to put that off until at least my next paycheck. It's for the best, I guess. This kitchen chair I'm sitting in now will help keep me awake.

Good Morning

Well, it's about 8ish, give or take a few minutes. (My clocks are set to match the timeclock at work, which is, unfortunately for my mornings, a few minutes ahead of the rest ot the world.) At the moment it is lovely and sunny outside, and I hope it stays that way today. Not only do I not want to worry about a power outage, but it'd be nice if I could get some laundry done, and hang it on the line to dry.

Here's the plan for today. As I am blogging in support if Planned Parenthood many, though not all, of my posts will be related to sex, sexuality, sexual health and politics, and reproductive freedoms. Of course, it just wouldn't be IRving Place if I didn't throw in a whole lot of randomness, too. Also, I've been having some fun with my street sign. I've got four new ones, and I shall be changing the sign every six hours throughout the day: 8AM, 2PM, 8PM, and 2AM. They sort of reflect the changes of the day. Think of it as my own tiny Dance of the Hours...or something.

Beyond that, who knows what surprises might be in store? It isn't too late to sponsor me (though the Blogathon site seems to be having trouble at the moment. I'm sure that will get cleared up.) My pledged currently stand at $262, and it would be great to pass $300. (Remember, any one who sponsors me for $50 gets their choice of a 5x7 print from the Wicked Women gallery, and anyone who sponsors for $100 gets an 8x10.)

Here's to wakefulness!

(Note: cripes, by the time I finished that it was 7 after. Must...type...faster...)

Shut eye

Well, I'm off to get some sleep while I still can. See you in about 8 hours!

Safe at last

After weeks of struggle, I finally have a new seat belt. Even the mechanics had a tough time getting the bolts out. They got one out by applying heat with a blow torch, and then turning it with a vise grip, but the other was in such a bad spot that they couldn't get it with the torch. They attempted to drill it out, but the steel was too hard. Eventually, they welded a nut onto the bolt head, and turned that to remove it. It was a tricky weld, since the space was so tight, but it worked out in the end. I'm very glad that's over, and am hoping that it is a long time before I have to do it over again with the passenger side.

Ghost Riders in the Sky

As if on cue, the clouds have rolled in, and thunderstorms are in the forecast for tomorrow. My dearest hope is that, having lost power once this year, I've had my share and everything will be ok. Also, having lost power during last year's Blogathon, the powers that be will pass me by this time around. However, I am preparing a contingency plan.

Since the person who rescued me last year with a laptop computer has been magically transformed into a walking phallus this year, I'm on my own. So, if my luck goes sour and the power goes out at any time during the Blogathon, I will write down my would-be posts (at least once every thirty minutes), and type them in as soon as the power comes back. I reeeeeeeeeeeeally hope it doesn't have to come to that.

Otherwise, I'm all prepared. I've got junk food and soda to see me through those long hours. I've got an egg timer to help me remember to post. Sometime tomorrow, I'll even have a couch to rest on when the computer chair is too much, but I need to avoid the siren song of the bed.

Remember, it's not to late to sponsor me. (It'd be great to pass $300...only $38 to that mark.)


The French government, in an effort to stem the flood of English word usage in their language, has declared that e-mail will now be referred to as "courriel" in official documents. The term is supposed to be a fusion of "courrier electronique". Some people think that is silly, and that no one ever uses that term in France. However, I like the sound of it. I may not be French, but I'm going to give it a try.

via Dreaded Purple Master

Gold in the water

While on a work break by the river, I saw an enormous carp swim by. Now, impressive as the size of this fish was, carp tend to be quite huge, so that was not so remarkable in and of itself. What did strike me was the color. Your average Yahara River carp is a muddy river brown. This was a streak of orange that totally popped against the greenish color of the water. The only places I've seen fish that color have been ornamental ponds. Seems we have an escaped koi on the loose. 'Twas pretty.

Blogathon Update

The total currently stands at $262 from 9 sponsors. Each and everyone of them is a beautiful person, destined for great things. Wouldn't you like to join them?

Closing in on Blogathon 2003

It's not too late to sponsor me for the Blogathon this year. Currently, sponsorship for this site stands at $182. It wouldn't be too difficult to get past $200 at this point, and who knows where could could end up. Remember, donations of $50 or more will receive a 5x7 print from the Wicked Women collection, and donations over $100 will receive an 8x10. I'm blogging for Planned Parenthood, and they make it quick and easy to make your donation via their website.

Oh, I've also seen that there are currently thunderstorms in the forecast for Saturday. Let's all hope that my power stays on this year, ok?

What the hell was that?

I should have heeded the warning. I didn't, and I was foolish. Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle is a flaming piece of crap. If I hadn't been so stunned by the sheer awfulness of it, I would have gotten up at some point and walked over to the theater where Pirates of the Caribbean was playing.

Oh, and Cameron Diaz really needs to take better care of her skin. No more suntans for you, young lady. Here's your SPF 30. Use it well.

A thousand points of light

Tonight I attended the Madison Opera's Opera in the Park with my friend M. She and I got there a wee bit late, so we missed the Carmen songs, but we saw a nice long performance anyway.

The first half of the concert ended with Lehar's Merry Widow Waltz. Somehow, many of the people in the audience had either glow sticks or necklaces. Since we came late, I don't know if these had been purchased of just handed out, but the program notes suggested that the audience move their glow sticks in time to the music for this song. (I'm not sure where the programs came from, either, but the people we sat next to gave us their extra.) It was both silly and fun to look out over the audience and see hundreds of green and pink lights bobbing and swaying in the late dusk to 3/4 time.

We couldn't really see the stage from were we sat, though that didn't matter because we could hear quite well. The only time it bothered me was at the beginning of the seond half, as the orchestra played the bacchanal of Saint-Saen' Samson et Dalila. According the the program, there were two percussionists and a timpani player in the orchestra. However, the piece made use of timpani, crash cymbals, triangle, and castanets...sometimes all at once. Based on the overlapping sounds, I was dying to know how they were managing to cover all of the parts. In the end, I decided not to barge across the crowd in the darkness just to see. It sounded pretty amazing, though.

Afterwards, we headed over to Michael's for frozen custard. Nights like this are why I really love Madison.

A Better Sammich

Get thee to the Mediterranean Cafe and try the falafel sandwich. This delightful sandwich is huge, yet easy to eat in its wrap; healthy, yet very savory and flavorful; and under $4. Unless you are weird, you won't regret it.




On the advice of several people I know and restaurant reviews, I decided to try Benvenuto's.

I found it to be very Olive Gardeny and somewhat noisy, though not obnoxiously so. The decor was attatractive, if somewhat given to loud accoustics. The tables were set with cloth (!) napkins, yet the table covering was a sheet of white paper, on which the waitress wrote her name with a crayon. I was impressed that she could write it legibly upside down (she wrote it between us, so that the letters were facing me but away from her). However, when she first started to write, I thought she was writting either "HELP!" or "HELLO". It turned out to be Heidi, rather than a distress call or a greating.

I was given a basket of warm, garlicky bread to dip into olive oil and fresh ground pepper (which, as I learned on Mario Eats Italy, isn't very authentic, though tasty). I am a big fan of baskets of warm bread, so I took advantage of this tasty offering as I awaited my order.

My entree was Portobella Farfalle, with fresh tomatoes and artichoke hearts. It sounded really good, so I was a little disappointed when it arrived. The mushroom and tomato chunks were generous and cooked just right, though the artichoke was hardly in evidence. The seasoning was also appropriate, neither bland nor overpowering. The big let down was the mushy, overcooked farfalle. Nothing kills a pasta dish like soggy pasta.

The portion was quite large, and I was able take home enough for a second meal. The overcooked pasta may has been a fluke (bad things do happen to good kitchens) and I would be willing to return if I were trying to find an eatery for a family or a larger group, but I don't think it will become a regular haunt for me, regardless of its proximity to my home.



Somewhere to Sit

So, I just bought a couch. Actually, a love seat, with a sleeper. It was on sale for majorly cheap, since the place was going out of business, and I couldn't pass it up. It hasn't been delivered yet, but in a few days, I can actually sit on a piece of grown-up type furniture, instead of cushions and folding chairs.

It is, of course, kind of ugly, but in a cool ugly way that totally grows on you. No plaid or flowers or wierd faux leather patterns. It is mostly yellow with stripes of various colors, and the fabric has a shiny quality that reminds me of Victorian upholstery.

Now I must rearrange the living room.

The assassin in my shower

Remember that insect that bit my back in June? I saved its little body to show to N, as he is the bug expert around these parts. He took one look and identified it as an assassin bug.

" Assassin bugs are killer insects that eat other bugs. They lie in wait for insects and then stab the prey with their proboscis (the beak) and inject a toxin that dissolves tissue. The assassin bug then sucks up the other bug's tissues. Sometimes, when other food isn't available, assassin bugs even eat each other."

Ew <shudder>

Looking at that picture on enchantedlearning.com, it really does look like the bug that but me, only my bug was all black, with no brown or yellow markings. Different variety, I suppose.

I've been told that they tend to live in sinks and drains. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I am soooooooooo checking my shower carefully every single time. (I've still got a small mark from that bite.)

Muy Rapido

I'm starting to consider getting a DSL connection (if I'm in the service area). TDS is having a special with free modem and install, and only $24.95 per month for 128k. That is only about $7 more than I am paying for dial-up, so it's attractive. The downside is that I'd have to give up my current address, which I've really grown attached to, and all the rigamarole of getting everyone alerted to my new address. I really hate changing addresses and/or phone numbers. I guess it's good that I only have a few business cards at the moment.

Boys Night Out

Last night I went to the Ben Taylor/Bob Schneider show with my good buddy N, who I decided would probably get a kick out of Bob Schneider.

I'd seen Ben Taylor open for Dar Williams a few months back, at the Barrymore. I thought he was ok. Cute, and he had his dad's voice, but his song were a little ho-hum. Tonight I just found him annoying. His songs were still ho-hum, but the sound balance was off, so I couldn't make out any of the vocals. They came across as a mumble most of the time. Plus, I think he was more...chemically saturated...than at Dar's show. He was drinking a beer onstage, and may have smoked a little something before the show. Nothing too bad. He wasn't extremely out of it, by any standards, but he did come off as the one hot guy at a party who plays the guitar and is into organics and thinks he's hot shit because of these things, consequently coming off as a bit of a prick and an idiot. Mostly I just giggled and checked the clock until his set was done.

Bob Schneider was so much better, though not entirely what I expected. The songs of his that get radio play around here are the more mellow ones: "Big Blue Sea", "Metal and Steel", and "Bullets" (ok, "Bullets" is a little less mellow than the other two.) (I also seem to have gotten him mixed up with Todd Snider, because I was waiting for "Talking Seattle Grunge Rock Blues" and "My Generation.") His set really rocked. Afterwards I described it to N as "Austin punk", while N said it made him think of early Bush (the band, not the politicians) with a red neck flavor. We both had fun, and N bought the Lonelyland CD.

Luther's, however, is still not my favorite venue.


Another one bites the rust

Guess who still has stubbornly rusted bolts holding a useless seat belt into her car? Yup, you guessed it. The managed to stump the guy at the auto place I went to, were my co-workers husband works.

I think I may have to up the stakes here. Tomorrow, I'm calling in Chet's.

Tonight I took the plunge and opened up my Dreamweaver. I've been flipping back and forth between page views and getting a hang of how it works. I find it a little eerie to press a button and have all that code appear.

Serendipity works, too

Well, the call that I planned to make this morning turned out to not change my life in the slightest. However, a second, more spontaneous phone call resulting in my winning tickets to see Bob Schneider Friday night at Luthers, so I guess it's all right. Maybe that will be life changing. :)

(Oooh, I just noticed that Ben Taylor is opening the show. Nice.)

One or the other

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Tomorrow morning I am going to make a simple telephone call that will change my life. Or else it won't. Change my life, that is. My life could very well go on exactly the same. That's just the thing, you never know.

$upport our troops.


Turns out the landlord's bolt extractor was a no-go. Too small and not quite the right shape for the round Torx 45s. Next step, check with my car repair connections at work and/or head to Sears.

Two stupid bolts. Argh. Ferrous oxide is my bane!!

Hey anony-nony, the weather is bonny

A quick shout out and thank you to my newest, completely anonymous sponsor, whoever you are.

Get out the airbrush

Words cannot begin to describe the fun and excitement of retouching logos off of condoms packets. Thank goodness I am the queen of the clone tool.

Italy's highest appeals court rules that men are no longer free to "bottom-pat" women as they please. Welcome to the...um...whatever century it is now. I suppose this is a giant leap forward, given that just in 1999 that same court ruled that a woman could not be raped while wearing jeans. (Ya know, if that really were the case, I'd seriously be investing in Levi-Strauss.)

It is when I read things like this (and worse) that I need to stop and remind myself that men are not all evil, and not the enemy. I think of the many good and worthy men I know, and focus on that, because otherwise...well, it would be very easy to believe. *sigh*

Of Mice and Masks

Be sure to check out the revamped mousecircus.com, which now has a section for Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's Wolves in the Walls. Very cool in that deliciously eerie sort of way.

Speaking of Gaiman and McKean, I am getting very excited about their new movie with Henson's, Mirror Mask. I'm sure it will be quite a while until it comes out, but I shall be first in line when it does.

Cabbage Patching with Happiness

This is my lucky day. My landlord just told me that he recently picked up a Craftsman bolt extractor set, and that I am welcome to use it. Rock on!



I spent the afternoon trying to finish installing the new seatbelt in my Jeep. The two bolts that hold the belt ends to the car are placed very awkwardly, so that getting my ratchet to them was incredibly awkward. Unfortunately, both of the bolts at the floor are extremely rusty. The bolts are #45 internal Torx heads (a star shape). When I applied force to the ratchet, there was a slight crunching noise, as all of the points disintegrated into rusty powder. With nothing to grip, the Torx bit on my ratchet just spins around uselessly.

I have yet to come across a workable idea for how to remove the rusty bolts, but I'm working on it.

Rockem Sockem

Tonight I saw Johnny Socko at the Union Terrace. Fun show. Their sound made me think of a hybrid between Rage Against the Machine (or the Beastie Boys) and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. But don't just take my word for it. (This one has less of the ska sound.)

Another new sponsor. Mwah! I kiss you!!!!!

(Note: While I had to Google to refresh my memory on the origin of "I kiss you!!!!!!!!!", no amount of Googling has reminded me where "keep those cards and letters rolling in" came from first. I have a vague idea that it was a tv show, but beyond that I'm stumped. Does anyone out there happen to know about this?)

UPDATE: We are now up to five sponsors. Keep up the good work, kids.

Big news

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I'd like to send my warmest congratulations out to my "little brother". Way to go, man.


A little thankyou to my two new sponsors. My, that was quick. May you be seen as shining examples to the thousands...er...dozens....er...to someone at least. :)


I just finished watching WTC: The First 24 Hours, which I picked up from the library. No music, no interviews, no commentary, no montages; just straight digital video from on and around Ground Zero. I appreciated that. So many "moving tributes" to 9/11 employ those elements; some use them well, and some not so much, but almost all of them drive straight for the gut for an emotional response.

I was able to watch and get a deeper sense of the sheer magnitude of the initial horror and the scope of the very first recovery efforts, without becoming completely choked up. Maybe it is the fact that enough time has passed for me to better deal with the memories of that day, but I think the presentation of the images really allowed some things to settle for me.

What did I see? Grey dust by the pound and people pushed beyond exhaustion. What did I not see? Talking heads in suits nattering on and on about "What does it al mean?" Overall, I found this documentary to be very respectful.


At this moment, I have one sponsor for the Blogathon. This sponsor is a wonderful and beautiful human being, and chose to sponsor me for $10. Very affordable, no? Certainly you could afford to sponsor me for $10. Heck, even $5 would be good. Every little bit helps, people. Remember, I'm going to be staying up for 24 hours straight searching for witty and interesting tidbits for your reading pleasure. In addition to my usual randomness, I will be featuring SEX for the day (well, sex, sexuality, and sexual health).

Why all the sex? Why not? Actually, it is because I am blogging to support Planned Parenthood. There are so many reasons to support Planned Parenthood. Many of those reasons can be found in their mission statement. Education, advocacy, health care...that's Planned Parenthood.

So anyway, I'd love it if you could and would sponsor me. Even $5 will go a long way. However, to sweeten the deal any pledge of $50 or more will receive a 5x7 print of a Wicked Women print, and any pledge over $100 will receive an 8x10 print.

You can pledge anonymously, you can pledge up to and during the 'thon, but please do pledge.

Thank you.

But it's Jerry!

Lord help me, I've just read two really good reviews of Pirates of the Caribbean. I know how much I loved the previews and the cast, but the fact remains that it is a Disney movie that involves Jerry freaking Bruckheimer.

I'll go see it, but I'm so going to do it when I can see it for free.

1, 2, 3


I've just been watching some of Buffy season 2 on DVD. As I've been watching, it has really been striking me how the first three seasons really were the best overall. After they escaped the horrors of high school and adolescents, some of its charm was lost. Season 4 had the fun "starting college" thing, which has some of the tone and confusion of high school...young people trying to find themselves and still pass their classes. Yet the whole Initiative thing felt a little flat, as far as ubervillians go. Then we got Dawn, Buffy left school, and Joyce died. There were still many excellent episodes, but the rest if the seasons never quite matched up to the first.

I've also been getting a kick out of seeing Danny Strong's first appearances, before his character even had a name. He was just that goofy, hapless kid. Also, there is the Oz factor in season 2, which I am digging. I love Oz. Xander's great, too, but if I had to pick one, I'd totally date Oz.


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Apparently, though I can change a car battery, I still can't properly iron a freaking shirt. Aaaargh. Damn you, wrinkles!

Filthy, but with a sense of pride.

I just changed my car battery. Allow me to say that again. I. Just changed. My car battery. Me. By myself.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, so what. A year ago...heck, 6 months ago I probably would have had someone else do it. It was a big mess and kind of a PITA, but the fact that I did not pay my hard earned money to do something that my lazy ass could be doing, automotively speaking, is a big deal for me.

I am giving myself a gold star for the day.

One Straight Guy at a Time...

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

Five gay men, out to make over the world — one straight guy at time.

They are the Fab Five: an elite team of gay men who have dedicated their lives to extolling the simple virtues of style, taste and class. Each week their mission is to transform a style-deficient and culture-deprived straight man from drab to fab in each of their respective categories: fashion, food and wine, interior design, grooming and culture.

I love it!!!!

Via Brushstroke.tv

1. Ridden on the handle bars of someone's bike.

2. Ridden double on someone's bike at all (except for the baby seat when I was a wee one).

3. Successfully turn a cartwheel.

4. Successfully perform a handstand.

5. Walk on my hands.

6. Been to any country outside of the US.

7. Been to the West Coast.

8. Been to New York City.

9. Baked a souffle.

10. Changed my own oil.

11. Fallen deeply in love with someone who was also deeply in love with me.

12. Learned to play guitar.

13. Driven a vehicle 100 mph.

14. Gone to a Badger game (any game).

15. Had $1 Million (at one time).

16. Owned a home.

17. Driven a motorcycle (or a moped, for that matter).

18. Tasted a truffle (mushroom, not chocolate), 100 year old egg, or good champagne.

19. Visited New Orleans.

20. Learned how to dance really well.

21. Been a rock star. ;-)

22. Attended/thrown a formal dinner party.

23. Been to Great America.

24. Gotten a professional manicure or pedicure.

25. Attended a really gala New Year's Eve party.

26. Been to a rave.

27. Driven Route 66 from Chicago to LA.

Musical Notes

It occurred to me this evening, while once again being told to play louder: What the hell is this shy person doing playing percussion? ;-) Brilliant, innit?

More Lightening (in bug form)

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Walking back from band, I caught a firefly in Library Mall. As soon as I'd caught it, I opened my hand, expecting it to fly away fairly quickly. Instead, it rode with me all the way up State Street, past the Captial, and back to my car, crawling all over my hand and arm in a tickly fashion. When I reached the Jeep, I actually had to shoo it off into the air. I guess it liked me.

More fun with electricity

Well, fun with the lack of electricity. My battery has been on it's last legs, and I was meaning to get a new one this weekend, but the holiday, the wedding, and the storm distracted me. I decided that my big plan was to pick one up from the auto parts store next to my work between work and band tonight, and then replace it tomorrow. My battery had other plans.

At the end of the workday, my engine would chug a bit, but just wouldn't turn over for love or money. Not enough juice left in it. I walked over to the store, got my battery and then walked back with it. It was a distance of a bout two blocks and man, was that thing heavy.

I wasn't at all prepared to change out my battery in the parking lot at work, so I got a couple of the guys to help me push start the Jeep (god i love stick shift) and drove downtown. I knew I wouldn't have any help pushing it after band let out at 9, so I parked at the top of a hill, just east of the Capital. When it was time to go home, I rolled myself into a start, ala San Fransisco.

Tomorrow I'll bike to work, and then deal with the battery when I get home. Let's hope it doesn't rain, ok?

Get out the guest china

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Wow, check out the LJ invasion...er...influx. ;-) Hullo friends of nf. Pull up a chair (sorry, still no couch), I'll make some lemonade.

Chocolatey Goodness

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There is something extremely satisfying about breaking the gold foil on a brand new jar of Nutella, and the seeing that creamy goodness beneath. It's been awhile.


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This Shockwave site has me enthralled. I feel very much as though i'm suddenlypart of an old Dr. Who or Star Trek episode. (I think it's the sound.) I wish I could figure out what the text said.

via Metafilter


Two other notes:

1. Other casualties of the storm were two of my rubber duckies. When the power went out, I put a lit oil candle in the bathroom, so as to have a little bit of light. Unfortunately, I set it on a shelf with another shelf above it (I wasn't quite awake at this time) and the flame heated up the glass of the top shelf, causing two of the ducks to fry. By the time I noticed, the bottoms were crusty and black, and the bathroom smelled of burning rubber. Wunnerful.

2. I've finally started to consider purchasing a couch, or a love seat, or at the very least a fluffy comfy chair. Not sure where I'd put one, and it will certainly add to the bitch that is moving, but there is something about always sitting in hard wooden chairs that loses its charm after awhile. I've had guests twice in the past week, and nothing says hospitality like "Hey buddy, pull up a folding chair and stay awhile!" Yeah.

Together Again

So, last night I went to the wedding of one of my high school girlfriends. We were never extremely close, but where part of the same social circle. I lost touch with her (as with most of my high school chums) after graduation, even though she now lives in my city. I wasn't specifically invited, but was brought as a guest of another invitee, one of the few that I have kept in touch with these past eight or nine years.

All told, there were ten people there that I knew from high school, all of us former band geeks. It had been nearly a decade since I'd seen most of these people, and most of us have changed a bit, though none past recognition. What amazed me was how much my social awkwardness came out. I didn't think I'd be so shy, considering that these were all good friends of mine. We've pulled pranks together, studied together, gotten silly on Mt. Dew and Pixy Sticks together. Most of them stayed at my house up north for a week for my graduation party, aka "Bandstock '94". Should have been a breeze, right? Uh, sure.

I think part of it stemmed from that fact that it was partly my fault that I fell off the planet for so many years, as far as most of them were concerned. I was lousy at keeping in touch right after I headed to college.

I'm also kind of a clod when it comes to making small talk. When you have about a decade seperating you, most of the talk is small talk. "What have you been up to?" etc. Most of them had marriages and/or kids and/or home ownership and/or actual careers. I'm still kind of an adolscent. Granted, I'm not still living with my parents, but I'm going to be an apartment dweller for a long time into the foreseeable future, I'm as single as the day is long (and it's summertime people...long days) and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Not that these things make me feel particularly bitter or anything. I'm fairly happy with my life, as far as all that goes, but when you are still in a state of flux, it doesn't make for interesting gossip. Add to that the fact that it is extremely difficult to describe my job to people. ("Well, I mostly wander around in the dark all day.")

Finally, it seemed as though at least most of them are still good Wisconsin Synod Lutherans, whereas I spent spent yesterday morning handing out condoms and helium balloons for Planned Parenthood at the Farmer's Market. I found myself going into major edit mode as far as many areas of my life are concerned. The combination of all these factors left me in major dork mode.

Now, I'm not saying that it was't a fun night. I got a kick out of seeing everyone, and playing catch up was great when I wasn't the one having to talk. I got to see a crowd of people do the Electric Slide not once, but twice! And, let us not forget: wedding food. Mmmmm.

At the moment, I'm resisting the urge to get out my yearbook, put on some Nirvana, and swim in a sea of nostalgia. I think I'll go for a bike ride instead.

The Market

Well, now here's something interesting that I found in my referral logs. I'd heard of Blogshares before (though I don't entirely understand it), but I hadn't realized that Irving Place could be found there. Heh.

Did I Mention the Noise?

I think the world has been conspiring against in the realm of getting some sleep today. I didn't get to bed until sometime after 2 AM, so I was looking forward to getting some nice long weekend sleeping-in time. Those hopes were dashed after being awakened at least three times by the storm this morning, and then by the non-stop chainsaws ever since then. Oy. <yawn>

If I'm lucky, I'll be able to get to sleep tonight sometime before the midnight trains come whstling through, and won't even notice. :)

Into Darkness

Heading out to get groceries, I was able to see some of the extent of the damage. Twig-sized pieces literally cover the ground. Small to moderate tree limbs and branches dot the lawns and are heaped into tall piles curbside. Additionally, I saw at least three large trees downed. I'll be interested to hear exactly how strong those winds were. 'Twas impressive.

The supermarket had it's usual Sunday crowd, not packed, but doing brisk business. I had most of my groceries in the cart, and was in the dairy aisle when, without warning, the store became pitch black. Large building, no windows, you literally could not see you hand before your face. Throughout the store rose up a collective, "Woah!" Someone standing a few feet to my left said, "Well, that can't be good." We all stayed frozen in place, waiting. Within about 30 seconds the emergecy generators powered up, but it was a very long half minute.

An announcement came over the loudspeaker that we had about 15 minutes from that moment to get through the checkout. People began racing through the store, which was rather amusing to watch. Made me think of those "Supermarke Sweep" shows. (That would be sooooo fun!) Fortunately, after about 5 minutes, the regular power came back, and all was well.

And the peasants rejoiced.

Hurrah for Power

Quite a long power outage today. Sometime around 7 I was awaked by the sound of rain. I got up and went round my apartment shutting windows, and then went to shut my compute down, rather than leave it in sleep mode. Right as it was waking up, but before I could get to the shutdown menu, the power went out. It seemed like a cruel trick, really. It stayed out till around 2.

The storm was quite impressive. Extreme wind and rain. I felt like I was in a hurricane. Tree limbs were blowing about, and at one point the rain was coming down so hard that I could scarcely see more than 20 feet, before it was just a wall of white. The thunder kept setting my stupid car alarm off, so that I had to run out to the car and shut the thing off entirely.

Oh what fun. The sun is out now, and the 'tricity is back, but there are still tree branches everywhere.

Seek and Ye shall find

1) Pay a visit to Google.

2) Type in (without using any quotes): weapons of mass destruction

3) Click the "I'm Feeling Lucky" icon.

Via This Modern World

Oooooo! Ahhhhh!

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The Fourth of July fireworks I attended tonight where quite satisfying. Rhythm and Booms may hype itself as the biggest, but I found the little old Maple Bluff Beach fireworks to be better. For one thing, the crowd was well ordered and fairly polite. It was a mass, but not really a mob. It was a festive conglomeration of citizens.

The fireworks, being lit be hind rather than computer, showed themselves off as individual jewels. For every burst of light, color, and sound there was a chance to really see it. Sometimes several would be shot off together, or in rapid succession, but they gave the impression of being small collections, rather than an endless stream of glitter. Instead of cheesy smiley faces, we were given randomly placed thunderboomers, which never failed to make the crowd jump. We also regularly applauded over the whizzers and the whistlers and the screamers and the showers.

Being a smallish area, most of the fireworks seemed huger than huge. (At Rhythm and Booms, most people found themselves watching it a bit of a distance.) The sky would literally be filled with a single burst. In addition to the glory of the show, the crowd was treated to a silver crescent moon hovering over the water, and three other fireworks displays at variou parks across the lake, to delight us during the pauses.

The grand finale, when it cam, was on of the grandest I have witnessed. The bulk of the show was lit from the end of a pier on the lake. (Some of the bursts flamed all the way back down to the water.) When the finale came, the fireworks were lit from the land end of the pier. A seemingly endless succession of crackle bam bangs became our canopy. It was so bright that I had to shadow my eyes at times. Of course, being that close meant that we became covered with a light rain of ashy debris. Dirty, yes, but very worth it.

I am glad that I decided not to drive all the way across town to go to Elver Park. Tis was a quality show. Definitely going to have to catch it again next year.


It's now official. On July 26th, I'm going to be blogging in this year's 24 Hour Blogathon. (Let's hope there are no power outages this time.) I'll be blogging to support Planned Parenthood. If you would like to sponsor me I'd really appreciate it.


PHD Supermodel

Some of my girlfriends and I like to joke that guys are all looking for a supermodel with a PHD, and they get so disappointed that they can't have one. I always though of th PHD supermodel as just a joke. Then I read about the new Miss Wisconsin. She's 22 years old, and she just got her MD.

Yes, that's right, a 22 year old with a medical degree. At fourteen she skipped right on to college. She's also been playing cello since she was three. Now she's off to try for the title of Miss America (which would really take a bite out of that med school debt). She also plans to use her title as a platform to advocate organ donation. (Her dad died for want of a kidney.)

The one thing that made me really bugged me was that, according to the Sunday Wisconsin State Journal (not online), she is 5'4" and 110 lbs, and is planning to lose about 5 lbs before the Miss America Pagent. You'd think that of all people, a doctor would understand and respect the whole "healthy weight for one's height". 110lbs is cutting it close, and 105 lbs is getting into underweightville.

Still, I may actually find myself watching the pagent in a few months.

Stuck at Prom

Running a little late with this entry, as Sunday was the last day for voting, but go hither and check out the entires for Stuck at Prom 2003. I was particularly impressed by Hilary Falk's entry. She's a local girl, and was written up in the Sunday State Journal (not online). After reading the article, I had to go looking for her Cosplay interview. Very cool. Go look.

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